Therapist as ally, therapist as foe, therapist as ally mistaken for foe–“Shrink,” a Fillet of Solo Festival program produced with Tellin’ Tales Theatre, rings humorous changes on therapy. Most of its monologuists have been on the receiving end, but Judith Harding, who directs a theater program for special-needs kids, delivers it. In her very funny Therapeutic Wreck she describes a disastrous evening trying to get her “clients” onstage for a donor gala at the Hyatt Regency. Harding is a key player in the story but hardly its focus; her self-deprecating humor and sense of cosmic chaos make this the most lighthearted of the six pieces I saw. Maia Morgan, by contrast, builds a moving one-two punch into We Got Spirit!!: at the end, her initially annoying rah-rah persona transforms the whole concept of cheerleading. Tekki Lomnicki’s expert Striptease is essentially a 45-minute setup for a great punch line. It’s much longer than it has to be, but Lomnicki’s stubborn state of denial is amusing. Overall “Shrink” is a little long, but it’s never whiny or self-centered; its mantra seems to be “better living through humor.” a See the Fillet of Solo Festival listing for a complete schedule. “Shrink” runs through 7/29: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark, 773-871-1212, $10-$15. –Laura Molzahn
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Striptease photo courtesy Live Bait Theater.