Tiff and Mom and the Rites and Wrongs of Womanhood | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Tiff and Mom and the Rites and Wrongs of Womanhood 

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TIFF AND MOM AND THE RITES AND WRONGS OF WOMANHOOD, Corn Productions, at TinFish Theatre. Tiff and Mom are a campy mother-daughter team from dysfunction junction--Berwyn, Illinois--where fat jokes, orgies, boozy crassness, and gender fucking rule. This incarnation of their continuing adventures is the musical tale of a near-fatal separation, complete with cultural fantasias on the excesses of talk shows and courtroom dramas a la O.J.

The show has what seems to be a cast of thousands, as actors flip through multiple goofy roles. Shawn Martin does a star turn as a tight-lipped, coldly sympathetic female guidance counselor. But the evening belongs to Robert Bouwman and Todd Schaner as Tiff and Mom, sweetly outrageous and comfortably nasty in their familiar characters. Like some third gender dressed in thrift-store grunge, they bound through the convoluted plot with infectious playfulness.

Although the show is about 20 minutes too long, it's full of savvy moments that deftly skirt the edge of good taste, as the company whirls through fast-paced parodies of conventional musicals, family values, and pop culture. Audience participation caps this funky escapist theater. It's good, dirty fun for open-minded cynics.

--Carol Burbank

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