TRUST US – SCREW YOU Review - Mapcap Humor for the Honest Man

If you have a shade of larceny anywhere in your psyche, TRUST US – SCREW YOU is a madcap play that will appeal to your heart and intensify your sense of humor. This two-man play stars its genius directors, Dan Kerr-Hobert and Phil Ridarelli in a 90-minute, non-stop tribute to honest people, wherever you are, amidst the challenges played  by con men everywhere.It plays every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm through June 13 at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 North Ashland. 


Dan Kerr-Hobert, Phil Ridarelli-Photos by Joe Mazza of Brave Lux

Kerr-Hobert and Ridarelli are members of the neo futurists, a collective of wildly productive writer/director/performers who create immediate, non-illusory, interactive performances.  The group has created over 60 other original, full-length productions. From the looks of their happy audience, this group definitely has a delighted following of fans.


Curtis Williams-Photos by Joe Mazza of Brave Lux

The premise is that con men will try to swindle the best of us, in this case unsuspecting members of the theatre audience set up in a number of social experiments.  Kerr-Hobert and Ridarelli ask audience members to hand over $1, $5, $10, even their whole wallets as they play games with us.  At the end of the show, they do hand over all the cash and wallets to relieved guests!



Confidence men and games have been that way through 20th century history, beginning with the lovable Grifters of the 1920s to the stock market swindlers of today (think Bernie Madoff).  The stars use personal narrative, dance and deception, games of chance and humor to challenge us out of complacency.  The three-person band/singers add to the festivities.



Dan Kerr-Hobert- Photos by Candice Conner of Oomphotography


“We knew that if we were going to do a show about con men, we’d have to do our best to screw over the audience.  That’s been our goal since day one,” the authors say, “and hopefully we can pull it off in a way that the audience won’t go home hating us.  Honestly, the hardest part so far has been trying to decide who gets to be Robert Redford and who gets to be Paul Newman.”


Dan Kerr-Hobert-Photos by Joe Mazza of Brave Lux


Dan Kerr-Hobert has been a director, writer, deviser, performer and freelance puppet designer, as well as an ensemble member of The Neo-Futurists.  He also works as an adjunct professor of acting at The Theatre School at DePaul University and as an Artist-in-Residence at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.


Phil Ridarelli has written thousands of short plays as well as being featured in many commercials and feature films including Mr. 3000, The Road to Perdition and lots of television shows with the word “Chicago” in the title.


Alisa “Plucky” Rosenthal-Photos by Joe Mazza of Brave Lux


The cast also includes composer/Musical Director/Musician John Szymanski, musician Curtis Williams and musician/singer Alisa “Plucky” Rosenthal.


The Lighting Director is John Kelly; Sound Designer is Jason Myer, Properties Designer is Archer Curry; Lizi Breit (Fabricator). Cody Ryan is the Video Engineer; Chris Wooten is the Technical Director; Victoria R. Golden is the Production Manager; Krista Mickelson is the Assistant Production Manager; Spencer Meeks and Eric Ruelle are the Run Crew, Performance Interns.  Kate Hardiman and Hannah Schupbach serve as Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Manager respectively.


Phil Ridarelli and Dan Kerr-Hobert - Photos by Candice Conner of Oomphotography

General seating tickets are $20; VIP seating is $25, $10 for student/seniors with ID or pay-what-you-can on Thursdays.  For tickets or information call 773-275-5255 or visit The Neofuturists website




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