Suspicious Clowns troupe to perform at WNEP Theatre

Thursday, May 2, 2002

By Vittorio Carli

Suspicious Clowns, a talented sketch comedy group, will perform Friday at the WNEP Theatre in Chicago.

The show uses only six performers and has a modest budget. But it compares favorably with Second City offerings.

The show was conceived by Vincent Truman and Scott Munn, who had seen many similar shows in which the female comics were relegated to supporting roles.

They decided to do a show with an equal gender mix, so Suspicious Clowns includes three women and three men. All have equal time on stage and all helped write the material.

The performers are Lauren Ryland, Scott Munn, Amanda Lanier, Vincent Truman, Tm Vencill and Ashley Taylor Clayton.

Highlights include a sketch involving the "lost" sequel to "Hamlet" and a game show called "Apathy," in which contestants are rewarded for not caring. There also is a sketch involving the Argyle Avenger, a would-be superhero.

Audience members also are cleverly incorporated into the show. At one point, the players interrupt a sketch to celebrate the phony birthday of a random audience member.

Suspicious Clowns at WNEP Theatre, 3209 N. Halsted St., Chicago, at 10:25 p.m. Friday. Tickets $10; (773) 296-1100.