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Posted on Jun 10, 2011 | 0 comments

Family comedy is alive with “The Davenports”

Come check out this hilarious, unique ode to 1980s TV dramas at the Playground Theater

By Jerone Tyler

This summer, soap opera meets the stage in the second season of “The Davenports.” Showing at The Playground Theater in the Lakeview neighborhood, this improvised sketch comedy is a great way to end – or continue – a night out with friends and family.

Set in Lincoln, Nebraska, “The Davenports” is the story of two powerful families, the Davenports and the Halsteds. The families deal with matters of money, power and infidelity while trying to ensure that members of their own family are taken care of at all costs. The storylines are reminiscent of the popular night-time television dramas that captivated us all during the 1980s and early ‘90s.

Audience members shouldn’t worry about being able to follow the plot because upon entering the theater, you’re handed pamphlets that provide background information on each character, including their likes, dislikes and motives. Front-row seating at the Playground Theater is level with the stage, so audience members can engage with the comedians pretty easily. The opulent jewelry and costumes, when combined with the physical comedic performances of the actors, only add to this already unique theater experience.

The similarities of “The Davenports” to Knots Landing, Dynasty and other former TV dramas are evident. According to director David Montgomery, all humor in this play is created out of respect to those shows. “I loved watching Knots Landing and Melrose Place,” says Montgomery. “This is completely done with a loving eye.”

“The Davenports” runs at midnight on Friday nights through July 22. The price for admission is $5, and shows are BYOB. The Playground Theater is located at 3209 N. Halsted. For more information visit www.the-playground.com or call (773) 871-3793.