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Theater Review: Boozelegger's Ball

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 19, 2008 9:46PM

Booze_station.jpgFriday’s late night crowd at Gorilla Tango Theater is raucous and loud, with some patrons sloshed to the point of major distraction. But complaining about a drunken scene at sketch comedy revue Boozelegger’s Ball is like complaining about excessive violence in There Will Be Blood. The title alone should clue you in.

Drawing the pub crawling crowd into an interactive show is risky. No one at last Friday’s performance passed out or attempted to “rewrite” sketches, but enough people seemed to mistake the black box space for Estelle’s that watching this show sober proved frustrating.

At least it’s funny. Loud, fast, easily digestible and, in spots, hilarious. The seven gents known as Big Dog Eat Child have written what they know: office hell, video games, and the joy of getting soused in bizarre drinking contests. The material’s slightly better than your average Chicago comedy show, like outtakes from a Judd Apatow movie minus the warmth and sensitivity. The short and punchy “public service announcements” are funniest, when they’re not disgusting, while a rap tribute to their gonads nails the white boy MC cliches to the wall. The punch lines falling flattest, like the office mate who can’t shut up or the kid actor getting his big break performing an R-rated scene, resemble the glib, insidery humor of Whitest Kids U Know (whose success continues to baffle us). [Ed note: Agh! Disagree! I love them.]

Booze_bigdog.jpgThese dudes relish being the life of the party, leading drinking songs, giving away audience awards, and stoking impromptu pep rallies. They’re genuinely happy to see you, even if the most oblivious in attendance can’t return the favor.

Boozelegger’s Ball is at Gorilla Tango Theater Fridays at 11:30 p.m. in an open run. Tickets are $15.