Best Variety Show!

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The Chicago Reader Named Impress These Apes the Best Variety Show in Chicago!

Thanks to all the readers who voted!!

There's a lot that can go wrong here. Impress These Apes is an eight-week talent competition, now in its fifth iteration, in which contestants prepare assigned acts--stand-up with a puppet, say, or anti-comedy--to be judged American Idol-style by "hyper-intelligent apes from the future" (three comedians in masks). The acts might easily flop--or, worse, they might not be bad enough to elicit sufficient zingers from the apes.

And yet there's never a dull moment.

Blewt! Productions has engineered Apes with silly backstory and wacked- out characters enough to keep things lively. And the contestants--who've endured a rigorous audition process for the chance to win prizes, $500, and the title of Least Pitiful Human--are always up for the increasingly weird tasks at hand. The possibility that Apes could fall apart at any moment only means that when something special happens, like an underdog pulling out all the stops, it's glorious. It runs through July 26, Mondays at 8 PM; tickets are $10.

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Congratulations! That's awesome!