County lines

Chicago Sun-Times - - SUN-TIME AGENDA - @ steve­heisler

ON THE FIRST- FLOOR stage of iO The­ater eight years ago, the mem­bers of Cook County So­cial Club started per­form­ing scenes about fel­la­tio. Why? It’s un­clear. Cook County So­cial Club moves at light­ning speed— troupe mem­ber Bren­dan Jen­nings got on his knees with­out hes­i­ta­tion, ready to per­form stage fel­la­tio on Mark Rater­man, as per the scene’s needs, and Rater­man im­me­di­ately turned around and dropped trou.

Cook County So­cial Club con­sists of Jen­nings, Rater­man, Bill Cochran, Greg Hess, and Tim Robin­son ( who was a cast mem­ber on Satur­day Night

Live for one sea­son). But re­ally it’s a shame­less, fast- paced hive mind. Make no mis­take: When Jen­nings says the word “fel­la­tio” on­stage he knows Rater­man is go­ing to take off his pants, not just mime it. And he knows he’ll have two sec­onds to pre­pare.

The group’s mem­bers come across as best friends. New j okes or scene con­cepts reg­is­ter as play­ful one- up­man­ship, try­ing to take some­one else’s idea all the way to its ab­surd con­clu­sion. Mun­dane de­tails are never ig­nored, and of­ten be­come through lines for an en­tire show. The crew don’t care who had the idea, so long as they can mess with it.

Cook County So­cial Club per­formed ev­ery Tues­day night at iO’s old Wrigleyville lo­ca­tion, where the Cook cult was strong. Shows rou­tinely sold out, and the Reader awarded the quin­tet “Best im­prov group” in 2010. They even started of­fer­ing im­prov classes in­de­pen­dent of any one the­ater. Now, for a sin­gle evening, the new iO The­ater hosts a Cook County So­cial Club re­union. Ex­pect tick­ets, and the show, to go fast. — STEVE HEISLER R COOK COUNTY SO­CIAL CLUB Fri 11/ 12, 8 and 10: 30 PM, iO The­ater, 1501 N. Kings­bury, ioim­prov. com, $ 20.


Greg Hess, Mark Rater­man, and Bren­dan Jen­nings

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