What You Need! (A Motivational Buffet--Help Yourself) | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

What You Need! (A Motivational Buffet--Help Yourself) 

Someone oughta start a self-help program to steer performers away from parodies of self-help programs. Though tantalizing comic territory, it's undeniably limited, partly because the turf's been worked over and partly because it's hard to heighten the ridiculousness of the real-life personal trainer, motivational speaker, etc. In the hands of truly gifted comedians, however, anything's possible, and Al Samuels and Kevin Fleming fare better than they probably have any right to. Playing sweat-suit-clad Bulgarian-American brothers Lyuboslav and Velcho Krumova, they hawk their "inspirational" backstory and useless counsel with a vengeance, abetted by their chemically challenged cousin DJ Chipmunk (Ben Grinnell) and a bevy of hot white-slave models. The hour-long piece loses steam in its second half, as does the curiously acceptable (and increasingly prevalent) mockery of post-Curtain eastern European emigres. But on the whole this is a surprisingly funny take on a frankly tired routine. Through 11/20: Sat 10:30 PM. ImprovOlympic, 3541 N. Clark, 773-880-0199. $14.

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