Fulfilling its mission to be subversive in language and theme, The Annoyance Theatre has done it again. It’s latest incarnation, “The Swear Jar,” is an equal-opportunity offender. During the 90-minute show, audience members are serenaded with the “A” word, both ”B” words, the “C” word, the “D” word, of course the “F” word, and two “P” words, plus cast members make a point of wallowing in most bodily functions, the grosser the better. Be forewarned, patrons must bring a note from their mother allowing them to hear so many dirty words in one night. But I digress…the point of the show is not to harass or offend with a constant barrage of four-letter words, the point is to be funny. And on that mission, they succeed quite admirably. The humor is sharp and biting and often unexpected, and the range of characters this 8-person troupe inhabits is downright impressive. The musical numbers also showcase the cast’s talents–one is a rousing tribute to middle-age suburban moms who want to break out and satisfy their aching libido, and another more thoughtful number has an unpopular teenage girl singing the virtues of throwing up and how it will catapult her to fame, fortune, and popularity with her peer group. If you’ve ever wondered how to receive divine intervention from a gear shift knob, or were curious why the orange juice has suddenly turned red, this show will solve these conundrums.
Comedy is huge in Chicago, and this week is the TBS-sponsored “Just for Laughs” comedy festival, with over 100 comedians performing at 20 different venues around the city. For a great new directory of everything happening in Chicago related to live comedy, check out the Laughing Parrot.