The Assemblers at pH | Comedy Review
In an early scene from The Assemblers, a new superhero sketch show by pH productions, the Norse god Thor is standing in line for the gay club Rainbow Bridge. The security guard tells him that everyone’s trying to get a little Asgard, so he has to wait like any normal person. The Assemblers, written by the cast and directed by Brett Mannes and playing Fridays at 9:30 through November 30, maximizes on these types of comic-lover scenarios by having a playful approach to nostalgia.
Sometimes comic-book humor can get a little bit too fanboy for a n00b like me (and I suspect the majority of audiences), but The Assemblers manages to avoid this by having scenes that focus on human aspects of super-humans. The show plays with this most in a scene where Dr. Logic, a cast-created superhero who can “invent anything,” is waiting at a CTA bus stop. A Chicagoan walks up to Dr. Logic and starts lamenting his flower shop that was destroyed during an epic battle. Dr. Logic saved the city, but the man’s business was ruined. We live in a post-Superman time where both heroes and regular people have to deal with a bad economy.
The show’s only kryptonite was a slight lack of focus. There were a lot of ideas and a little of the spandex-fat could have been cut. However, the entire cast was strong. Drew Current and Austin Campion in particular had some of the funniest scenes.
After being itinerant for a long time, pH has staked out new space at 1515 W. Berwyn Avenue and I really liked it. Chairs are lined up close to the stage, making it feel personal. This set up is cool. However, parts of the stage can be hard to see from the back, so sit up front. pH celebrates its grand opening with a string of parties and events happening November 14–17.