The Chicago Reader: In the 1920s, surrealists had a theory that stripping everyday associations of their context could imbue them with the unnerving hyperreality of dreams. The “exquisite corpse” method puts that into practice. In this sketch-comedy application, a cascade of non sequiturs are loosely connected by artifacts from prior bits. Rampant babbling, slurring, bizarre mouthing, and near-verbal jibberjabber make the show a technically exhilarating spectacle, and ingenious lighting adds fuel to the fantasy. Individual scenes can be anemic, or unrestrained—the setup hauls a corpselike figure onstage, for instance, and temporarily spoils the fun by naming the game. Yet these early missteps are redeemed by gripping juxtapositions.
Chicagoist: “Exquisite Corpse” is an intensely tangential sketch comedy show from the Chicago-based comedy collective Claymore Productions. With this series of interrelated scenes of “pure, uncut sketch,” Claymore and company have come up with one of the most surreal and memorably weird comedy shows you’ll see this summer. The historically subversive Annoyance Theater is a perfect home for this idea-stuffed gut buster, which repeatedly and lovingly pulls the rug out from underneath the audience, with a handful of fourth wall-breaking gags that aim to both please and challenge. The extended cast, which effectively expands Claymore’s bleakly bizarre universe, features a number of favorites from the Chicago underground sketch and improv scene, including the perpetually put-upon Paul Jurewicz and two-man sketch duo Be Good Boys (Mike Brunlieb and Andrew Tisher), who dexterously toy with the reality of the entire show. To explain much more would be to spoil the fun — hoof it up to Uptown to catch this nugget of silliness while there’s still time.