Tiny Tales of Terror | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Tiny Tales of Terror 

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Tiny Tales of Terror, Bailiwick Repertory. This hour-long Halloween-season anthology is somewhat mistitled: its six tales are tiny all right, but none even pretends to be very frightening. Mostly written by Eric Appleton, with one apiece from Jason Demma and John Weagly, they're more like the comic relief you find sandwiched between scares in a horror movie. Ghosts, murderers, zombie ghouls, and things in the basement lurk behind the scenes, their presence indicated largely via Greg Silva's excellent sound design. Onstage the focus rests on matters of couplehood, child rearing, and friendship--a likely formula for boredom, especially given the evening's bait-and-switch aspect.

The writing goes nowhere in particular, but the dialogues are brisk, fresh, funny, and believable, which is no small feat against a fantastic backdrop, however faint. And under the direction of Eli Goodman, who wisely avoids trying to make any more of this show than it is, each of the appealing cast members sails through several deceptively unassuming portrayals. Darren Bochat leads the way, but Andrea Bochat, Wade Hicks, and Amy Lewis Montgomery aren't far behind, supplying a humanity that makes up for the lack of true menace in this charming (if extremely light) entertainment.

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