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  Mutt at Theater Wit


Theater Wit
1229 W Belmont Ave Chicago

The Republican Party finally realizes it has a problem with race. So it decides its best chance for success in the 2016 presidential election is to back a candidate who's of "mixed race," white and Asian descent.. They think they've found their man in Len, a multiracial war hero who can check off every single box - and maybe a couple more boxes no one knows about. A blisteringly funny satire that skewers not only the elephants in the room but the donkeys too, Mutt burns down the entire house of racial cards.

Presented by Red Tape Theatre and Stage Left Theatre

Thru - Feb 14, 2016

Price: $15-$30

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 773-975-8150

  Mutt Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...The biggest problem is that the stakes are just nonexistent here, even as xenophobia is gaining more currency as a campaign strategy this year. The media carnival gets some glancing comeuppance. Reyes also plays a blowhard cable-news pundit with the unfortunate name of Dave Matthews, leading to obvious jokes confusing him with the rocker."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Vanessa Stalling's production for Stage Left and Red Tape Theatre nods to the nonpartisan South Park school of political comedy by portraying both sides of the aisle as full of bumbling oafs, to limited effect. Mary Williamson excels at making Chen's broad and insufferably smug commentary feel spontaneous, but all the other characters are loud grotesques too broad to have passed muster on Mad TV."
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Dan Jakes

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...Mutt bitingly imagines what might happen if the Republican Party sought out a mixed-race presidential candidate. Of course the candidate would have to be male, and one with an Asian heritage is preferred since they're perceived to be the "model American minority.""
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Scott C. Morgan

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...We follow Nick as he teams up with Hannah to run against Len as a Democrat, and Chen proceeds to paint a number of parties with a broad brush: Republicans are craven, Democrats are indecisive, progressives are angry and impossible to please, TV talking heads are robotic blowhards. Of course, as our current election cycle is proving out, party brass don't actually get to just decide who their presidential candidate will be. With caricatures so sweeping Chen clearly isn't attempting realism, but the intentional misrepresentation rather dilutes the commentary. Vanessa Stalling's production has some nice moments (and Paul Deziel's largely GIF-based projection design is delightful), but too often equates loud with funny."
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Kris Vire

Stage and Cinema - Not Recommended

"...Anyway Chen's arguments don't matter in the least. Because every question in this Midwest premiere gets trashed in a final grotesquery: The incredibly cynical ending makes hash of intelligent discourse. Mutt is 105 minutes of wasted everything. Despite a vibrant video backdrop, Vanessa Stalling's staging takes seven worthy actors (too good to name here) and dumbs down their IQs to fit their parts. Dumbass bombast has found its chosen play. Never has that terrible question-"So what?"-resounded so deafeningly during a curtain call."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Not Recommended

"...This in-your-face loudmouthed satire becomes tediously long and redundant. When satire is heavy handed and clumsy, it can easily slip into sophomoric stupidity. That is the case here. If the producers really want satirize presidential politics in 2016, all they need do is act out what the misfit collection of Republican contenders, led by Trump, are actually doing on the campaign trail! Sometimes the best satire comes directly from reality. You can watch video clips of the candidates as they produce material rich in satire that begs parody. I’d skip Mutt as it is a not funny scream-fest that takes a silly sketch and stretches it into 105 minutes of boredom."
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Tom Williams

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Playwright Christopher Chen’s language is lithe and playful throughout and necessarily so, highlighting the absurdity of political rhetoric and the even greater absurdity of its impact on our world."
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Joy Miller

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...With how fast and frantic the pacing is, some of the routines and jokes in “Mutt” inevitably fall flat, but director Vanesa Stalling has trained her cast well on the art of comedic timing, and the show promptly steamrolls ahead to its next gag. And with how relentless (and often shameless) the process is during the presidential primaries, a show like “Mutt” is ultimately necessary to help reclaim our sanity."
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Peter Thomas Ricci

Chicago Theater Beat - Recommended

"...Mutt may not age well beyond the next Presidential election, but that being said, it’s worth checking out as the most topical of topical pieces. Stage Left and Red Tape have a popular production on their hands – with sharp direction, a terrific cast and a mostly-funny script, Mutt is sure to be a hit."

Lauren Whalen

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