Monday, July 30, 2012

A handful of shows in the "Not My Thing" category

Paved With Good Intentions - Smiling Lune 

"This is my perfection - the erection of this."

Dance your demons. Shake them out. We all want to deny our darker side, but even this act of denial gives it power. So integrate, accept, embrace. If we're on the road to hell, we might as well enjoy the ride.

Belly dancing with voiceovers by God and the Devil. Belly dancing's not really my thing, but if it's yours this might be worth checking out.

Not Dead Yet! The Return of Mr. Elk and Mr. Seal! - Modern Entertainment Music 

"Mr. Elk is in LA.  Hence, I will be doing both melody and harmony."

The A Capella Animals with snappy patter, funny songs, goofy moves and sweet harmonies. Seen on MTV, Comedy Central, Garrison Keillor's radio show. Some whistling- no dogs allowed. Kids love it; they are tough!

Dean Seal sang a little ditty about eating in Chinatown. Clever patter song. A little footwork. Again, not my thing, but looks like it'll be a funny, variety show style production.

The Computer Wore Semiotics - Story, Ink 

"I think you blew a seal."
"No, that's mayonnaise."

Tales of academia's unrequited love for the computer, from Paula Nancarrow and Loren Niemi, with punctuation by John Devine. (Yes, there will be nerd sax.) You can leave your phone on, but Siri buys a ticket.

I feel bad saying this, but it was fine. Not great, not awful, just fine. An amusing anecdote with a dirty joke tucked inside it that seems to be part of a larger narrative about, well… computers. And unfortunately I didn't find it all that compelling. The preview was plenty. I don't really feel the need to see more. Again, just not my thing.

What About Little PD - PD Pi Productions

"The greatest dog park stories you'll ever hear."

Explore a comedic, insightful look into couples who have chosen to be childfree yet have pets. Nadine and Mike share a decade of wisdom on life with their dogs Little PD and Mr. Pi.

Uh, no. Sorry. The couple seems perfectly pleasant but the idea of watching a show where two people talk about how they treat their pets like children is right up there with… well, a real production of Romeo and Juliet for me. I'll pass.

Pretentious Conversations - Upward Spiral Productions 

"You can gender identify any way you want but you are going to play the violin."

Sophisticates will relish this high-end fictional talk show featuring rarefied virtual guests engaged in dialogues of consequence. Moderated by the thoughtful probings of Patricia Skylar Van Humphries, Host.

Points for trying. It's smart, arch satire certainly. But my first response to the title was "no" and the preview didn't really change my mind. While it's a lot smarter and funnier than I expected, it's still about the kind of people that make my teeth itch. So just like comedy about George Bush, I think I'll spare myself spending time in the company of characters I'd just as soon avoid in real life.

Comedy, Magic and Neurosis - Southern Comfort 

"Hey man, you wanna get stable tonight?  We're gonna get so normal."

An autobiographical standup comedy and magic show centering around the Midwest Emmy Award-winning performer's life as he covers the relatable topics of work, family, relationships and anxiety.

My reaction to this preview was weird. The guy's got his routine down. Solid stage presence. Well-worn material. I guess I just have to be in the mood for stand-up comedy, and in this context, I found I wasn't. Nothing inherently wrong with it. It had some genuinely funny lines. But I'm not feeling compelled to see it.

Shakespeare Ate My Brain - OAFtrax

"I work in dinner theater."
"Don't worry.  One day you'll be a real actor."

In order to become the world's most celebrated Shakespearean scholar, Dr. Gwen Marlowe-Thomas must prove that the Bard employed actual zombies in his most famous works. How? Hold auditions.

In case you were wondering if Shakespeare combined with zombies was turning into a new Fringe genre, I guess the answer is yes. A zombie and a living actor walk into an audition. Make up your own jokes to that scenario, they were probably here. I was more interested in the set-up for the show - a researcher trying to prove her zombie thesis, and what the examples might be - than this preview bit. Zombies in general tend to squick me out so I need a really good reason to attend and play along. But able as the actors were here, the material wasn't selling me.

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