Commedia dell'High School

From The Chicago Reader, February, 1998.

You'll find no scattershot sketch-and-blackout formula in Commedia Dell' High School, no Harolds merely stringing together the same old shticks. What distinguishes Step Right Up's improv show from others (with the possible exception of the Free Associates) is the existence of a plot. Starting with a high school setting, two stock characters, and a few details from the audience, the seven ensemble members forge a narrative complete with foreshadowing and reversals--all the accoutrements of the classic 19th-century novel (or at least a John Hughes movie). Hyperbolic slapstick is refreshingly absent. On the night I attended, Bumper Carroll and Mary-Terese Cozzola took the lead roles in a fable of adolescent angst centered around a nerd's learning, then unlearning how to be cool 'n' cruel. Even the supporting characters had enough depth and complexity to make one want to return and see what their stories were.

--Mary Shen Barnidge (Copyright, 1998)

Go back to the Commedia dell'High School Home Page