Wants and Needs | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Wants and Needs 

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Joey Slotnick and Lauren Katz cut their teeth in the mid-90s with the well-respected improv ensemble ED, and have a slew of TV and film credits between them, so I guess they're entitled to some of the hype surrounding their new show, a long-form theatrical improvisation. But despite their undeniable rhythm and rapport, the night I attended these old pros got snared in a thicket of sophomoric object work and mirror games, never developing interesting relationships or overarching themes. Though a necessary ingredient of good improv, environmental play as exclusive focus is a dead end; Slotnick and Katz single-mindedly traded in audience discovery--"Oh, that's what they're doing!"--except when stooping to self-reflexive commentary on the improvising itself, the oldest trick in the book. Through 8/6: Wed 7:30 PM, Thu 6:30 PM, Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan, 312-337-0665, $15-$25.

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