Friday, July 25, 2008

Stacked High


Stacked: An Evening of Two One-Person Shows
Tuesday 7/29, 8 PM
Apollo Theater - studio
2540 N. Lincoln

These two one-person shows are being performed together one more time on this upcoming Tuesday evening in preparation for both shows to perform separately at The New York Fringe Festival.

The Sound of One Hanna Clapping
Written and Performed by Hanna
Directed by Ana

The Jazz Gallery
290 Hudson St.
New York, NY

Monday 8/18 @ 7:45
Tuesday 8/19 @ 5:30
Wednesday 8/20 @ 4:00
Friday 8/22 @ 8:30
Saturday 8/23 @ 1:30


Written and Performed by Nancy Friedrich
Directed by James Whittington

The Players Loft
115 MacDougal Street, 3rd Floor
(West side of MacDougal, just south of West 3rd Street)
SUBWAY: A, B, C, D, E, F, V to West 4th Street

WED 8/20 @ 7:00pm
THUR 8/21 @ 9:00pm
FRI 8/22 @ 5:15pm
SAT 8/23 @ 9:15pm
SUN 8/24 @ 12:15pm


is a solid evening of entertainment and worth several times the ten bucks you'll spend on a ticket here in Chicago. Tickets for the New York shows are $15 for each show, so, there you go shoppers. The best price for great shows is here in Chicago.

I saw the show last Tuesday. I don't know if the ladies switch off the order or not. Hanna did the opening slot with The Sound of One Hanna Clapping. In the interest of full disclosure, I have known Hanna for four or five years, now. She went through the writing program at Second City and was an active member of Teatro Bastardo. I'm already a huge fan of her abundant mad skills. Her show did what you expect a one-person show to do - it showcased her talent. She plays several of her songs, does monologues and even takes us on a hilarious silent journey through the possible relationship with her dream man, Michael Showalter (from Stella). They do not live - or die - happily ever after. Hanna has trouble making relationships work even in her fantasy life. She even puts to good use short video pieces that integrate well into the piece, as opposed to being "...and now here's a video I did that has nothing to do with the rest of the show."

The only beef I have with Hanna's show is that it explores her beliefs that her showbiz career has not turned out and that she is perpetually single. SHE'S ONLY 26! Hanna, your showbiz career is just getting started and, my God, woman, don't think about marriage until you're in your 30's. You're going to be too busy working that showbiz career. You're hot, your talented and ANA GASTEYER DIRECTED YOUR SHOW, FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!

My point is, I think you'll be fine. Things are working out for you. As a through line for the show, it was hard to buy into. That discrepancy, however, certainly didn't keep me from being entertained.

There are two kinds of one-person shows. The kind that do what Hanna's does, putting her life out on the stage for everyone to see. Then there's the other kind of show that Nancy Friedrich does. It's called Dingbat and showcases her skills as a character-based comedienne and it tells a story. And the story is remarkably and wonderfully weird. It's about a librarian in New York who marries a punk rock drummer and they move to a small town in South Dakota where the drummer is summarily eaten by bears. The story focuses on her grieving process, the intrusion of wacky, well-meaning neighbors and the return of her imaginary friend from childhood - Dingbat, a rope with bells on it and googly eyes. Nancy is outright a very funny person. Her characters have a soft spoken edge to them and underneath that surface seems to be some sort of surreal circus where the performers don't use nets or safety harnesses. Her nightmare Sex in the City/The Facts of Life dream sequence is a hard rock symphony of turn-on-a-dime character reactions. The only beef I have with Nancy's show is that is relies heavily on a narrator. No problem with that, except the voice-over artist is never credited and he's such an integral part of the story telling. (It's Noah Gregoropolous, by the way, who's got a nice Tom Bodet thing going on here.)

If you are in New York, see them. If you live in Chicago, you'd be foolish not to plop down the $10 to see both of these shows.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Dr. Edgar Mitchell claims aliens exist. He is uniquely qualified in this opinion because he what?"

60% said "Is an alien"
- The PhD is from his own planet and he really shouldn't be using the moniker here.

20% said "Has a guest house where they stay"
- Sure. Why not. OJ Simpson did that, too. What earth parent would name their kid Kato?

10% said "Has been probed - you know where"
- He has. He was drunk at the time. The alien totally took advantage of him.

10% got it right with "Has walked on the moon"

According to News.Com.Au, former NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr Edgar Mitchell - a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission - has stunningly claimed aliens exist. And he says extra-terrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions - but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades.

Officials from NASA, however, were quick to play the comments down.

In a statement, a spokesman said: "NASA does not track UFOs. NASA is not involved in any sort of cover up about alien life on this planet or anywhere in the universe.

Here's a picture of the NASA official speaking at a press conference on the subject.