“You don’t have to be smart to laugh at farts,” Louis C.K. sagely explained in one of his many oft-quoted interviews, “But you have to be stupid not to.” The ensemble of “Cupid Has a Heart On”—which has been consistently running for more than a decade (making it the longest-running sketch comedy show in Chicago history)—would certainly agree. But while most of the humor in here is decidedly lowbrow (one memorable punchline is literally “poop poop poop poop”), it’s also consistently laugh-out-loud funny. If you measure the success of a comedy show by setting up some kind of hits-to-misses ratio, rest assured that “Cupid’s” arrows solidly hit their marks much more often than not.
In this ninety-minute collection of more than twenty sketches—all of them musical and almost all of them involving sex or relationships (or both)—the vocally and comedically talented cast (led by founder and director Brian Posen on the piano) energetically deliver their solos, duets and group numbers with the chops of singers who happen to be comedians rather than comedians attempting to sing (there’s a big difference). A healthy dose of audience interaction is often incorporated into the mix—just enough to keep everyone on their toes without making the shyer audience members too uncomfortable.
Whether it’s a Beastie Boys-style female rap about cake or a country ditty about the benefits of boning the lesser-known Presidents or a surprisingly lovely a cappella accusing someone in the audience of farting, each song is clever, funny and of its own style. And while most of these numbers are accompanied by Posen’s piano, many include guitar-playing from a number of cast members (including one song where five performers play in Speedos).
Overall, the laughs are near-constant and the setup has plenty of funny insight regardless of your current relationship status (though it does lean toward the single crowd). There’s a reason this show is still going strong in its eleventh year. (Zach Freeman)
The Cupid Players at Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont, (773)327-5252, cupidplayers.com. $20. Every Saturday at 8pm.