Don’t let her elfin appearance fool you—Susan Messing has no qualms about letting her id rip in the name of improv. If it’s dirty and profane, count on Messing to go there each week in her improv free-for-all at the Annoyance. (The late-night Thursday run hits its two-year mark on June 26, with the incomparable T.J. Jagodowski as Messing’s friend du jour.) Filthy mouth notwithstanding, Messing has reached the point, performance-wise, where she appears unfazed by the bit or scene that doesn’t work—and yes, sometimes the improv just sits there like cold piece of meat. She’s best when she spends the time investing in a fully realized character, allowing a scene develop into an actual story that is often as dark and upsetting as it is funny. That being said, no one comes up with better one-liners. At a recent show, she was a frat boy advising his pledges: “Remember, fuck ‘em in the face until they don’t remember it was you.” That’s genius stuff right there. (Nina Metz)
Annoyance Theatre, 4840 West Broadway, (773)561-4665, Thursdays at 10:30pm, $20. Open run.