Valid Historia | Under the Gun Theater | Improv/Sketch | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
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Joel Mynsberge

When: Thursdays. Continues through March 30 2017
Price: $12
The concept: After a brief set by an opening act, a "herstorian" takes the stage to present an even briefer talk, sketching out the life of some significant woman (Zelda Fitzgerald on the night I attended). Then the members of all-female-identifying troupe Valid Hysteria perform a long-form improvisation based on the talk. I anticipated an earnest, lives-of-the-feminist-saints sort of show, but Valid Hysteria turns out to be more interested in laughs than hagiography, and what they came up with applied less to Zelda than to the generic components of her life (southern wealth, alcoholism, madness, etc). What I didn't anticipate was VH's failure to achieve the essential goal (and pleasure) of long-form improv, which is to build a coherent theatrical event using spontaneously created characters and plotlines. Despite some interesting ideas, the 45 minutes went nowhere. —Tony Adler



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