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Review Fri Apr 29 2011

Review: Easy Six @ The Factory Theater

easy six.jpg

L to R: Manny Tamayo, Anthony Tournis, Paul Metreyon, Esteban Andres Cruz, and Scott Pasko in Easy Six.

The Factory Theater's latest production, Easy Six, is an original piece written by ensemble members Ernie Deak and Scot OKen spoofing Rat-Pack era films like Ocean's 11, with the all the raucousness, ad-libbing, and pun-infused script that we've come to expect from the Factory. Manny Tomayo, as Mickey Bocks (a spoof character of Frank Sinatra) introduces the audience early on to a gag that repeats throughout the piece where he hands someone his dentist's business card because they'll need it when he's done punching their lights out. I was thrilled beyond measure to discover that included in the press pack that I received at the beginning of the show was an honest-to-goodness business card for Dr. Billy Batz DDS that reads:

"Licensed, Bonded, Insured. Fun at parties.
He'll fix your teeth, when Mickey knocks them out!
Office hours: M-F 8:45am-3:15pm
Saturday: I'd rather not, but, Noon-4pm
Sunday - Are you kidding me?
Phone 555-OUCH
Certified member of the Ultimate
Dentistry Confirmation Association
Eat apples... they're good for you!"

Not only is the Factory Ensemble willing to go to these lengths to commit to a joke, but they're also not afraid to make fun of themselves. After a particularly egregious pun, one cast member yelled out: "who wrote this shit?", which I learned later is an inside joke between Factory Ensemble members referring to a night in which a drunken audience member shouted that phrase from his seat shortly before being escorted from the theater.

The thin-necktied, cocktail and pun-rich atmosphere of Rat-Pack era entertainment is faithfully adhered to in Deak and Oken's script, which contains memorable quotes from actual Rat-Pack appearances like: "I've got three hundred dollars in four different banks," and includes a staggering four original songs. In keeping with the theme, the storyline includes a bar, a casino, an ex-girlfriend, and a heist.

If you're a real Rat-Pack fan this play is for you; if you can't say with pinpoint accuracy which characters were a spoof of which Rat-Pack member without consulting Wikipedia, you'll still have fun. I have to single out Esteban Andres Cruz's portrayal of Gary Thain (a spoof of Sammy Davis, Jr.) for his egregiously hilarious take on the late icon, going as far as using a box of matzoh as a prop, just to make sure we were all on the same page. If you're looking for a fun night out in a part of Chicago that most people overlook, you'd do well to consider Easy Six.

Easy Six runs Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm, Sunday nights at 7pm through May 28, with a special Monday night performance at 8pm May 9. Tickets for Friday and Saturday performances are $20, Sunday performances are $15, with group pricing available. To purchase tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit The Factory Theater. Running time is approximately 2 hours with intermission. The Factory Theater is located at 3502 N. Elston, at the Prop Theater, just east of Kedzie and south of Addison.

 
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Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

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