Sitting at the Grown Up Table mixes laughter with deep thoughts for a funny lesson in love and marriage 

Love and Marriage


Hey, we can all relate to it. When you were a kid, you couldn't wait to be old enough to sit at the grown-up table. Once you got there, you realized that the kid's table was where all the fun was going on.

This show is about that; about the process of working towards an acceptance of the fact that, as the years go by, it's not all about you anymore. All of a sudden, there's the honey with whom you've made a commitment and maybe even a rug monkey or two. Real human beings whose wants and needs may not always coincide with your own. That's when the real really gets real.

The show opened with Touched, a solo (well, mostly solo) performance by Jet Eveleth of Chicago's longest running improv group, The Reckoning.

Eveleth plays the role of the nerd girl so effortlessly that it almost knocks you out of your seat when she switches character to the hottie on the dance floor and damn ... well, let's just say that it's a good thing they serve cold beer in Theatre 99 because when she's hot, she's hot.

The skits in Touched were all funny, but a few might have been better had they been just a wee bit shorter. There was kind of a Saturday Night Live vibe to one or two of them, i.e. OK, we got it, funny, but it's time to move on the next.

Holly Laurent, by the way, plays a house cat spot on. Seriously, if they ever give an Academy Award for Best Portrayal of a House Cat, Holly Laurent is going to own it.

After a brief intermission, Eric Hunicutt introduced the raison d'etre of the evening: to work through the reasons why someone would swap "I" for "we" in his or her personal vocabulary. Both Hunicutt and Laurent are recently married — not to one another — and neither minds admitting that there is a kind of therapy in this improvised comedy performance.

There's the stuff that you'd expect, like a husband on vacation enviously eyeing the bachelors who go off drinking while he is stuck playing "scavenger hunt" with his wife and the rest of the married couples. And then there is also the stuff that works its way through the thoughts privately: concerns about whether monogamy will get boring and the dreaded but ever present possibility of infidelity.

Hunicutt even took a few minutes to comment on a website (he chose one of the tamer ones from the available choices) that caters to married men and women who are, shall we say, affair-curious. It was an interesting commentary on one of the basic insecurities that go hand in hand with commitment (but I couldn't help but wonder how many guys in the various audiences the show has played for have Googled Ashley Madison first chance they got).

The show is an interesting mix. It's definitely comedy, drop-on-the-floor funny all over the place, but there are also plenty of moments that really grab you and make you think hard about this game of hearts in which we all play a hand sooner or later. A little bit of hmm and a whole lot of ha ha: that ought to do for an evening's entertainment.

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