The Improvised Shakespeare Company | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Improvised Shakespeare Company 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Seven strapping men in swashbuckler shirts improvise a two-act Shakespearean play based on a title suggested by the audience. At the show I saw, "The Taming of the Jew" inspired the Bard's usual themes (religion, family, betrayal) and plot devices (murders, disguises, fortunes gained/lost) as well as an uncomfortably funny circumcision. Director-performer Blaine Swen, a veteran of long-form Shakespearean improv who swears they don't conspire during the intermission, has assembled a vigorous ensemble of actors and proven improvisers. Their experience doing Shakespeare flowers in the language: they relish iambic dialogue, execute perfectly timed asides, occasionally utter rhyming couplets (some hilariously forced: "Let us be quick-sa, and get to the bar mitzvah!"), and drop parodic phrases ("scurvenous knave," "midfortnight report") and well-placed anachronisms (the bar mitzvah had a DJ). Even the ending echoed the real plays: story lines resolved tidily--and uproariously. Open run: Fri 8 PM, I.O., 3541 N. Clark, 773-880-0199, $14.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Ryan Hubbard

  • Rise and Shine

    Rise and Shine

    Fourteen spots for brunch, from Bakin' & Eggs to Yolk
    • Mar 25, 2010
  • Sweet and Sour

    Sweet and Sour

    A buffet of nontraditional holiday theater fare
    • Dec 3, 2009
  • A closer look at Chicago magazine's best city burger: Hot Chocolate

    A closer look at Chicago magazine's best city burger: Hot Chocolate

    A closer look at Hot Chocolate's burger, ranked second in the city by Chicago magazine.
    • Sep 22, 2009
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Patience and Sarah Theater Wit
October 12
Performing Arts
Not for Sale UrbanTheater Company
September 27

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories