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Afterlife (Sunset Gun Productions), starring Candy Simmons, is hilarious. Candy plays three women from three different generations, who may be kharmically connected and who are all trying to be happy: a nurse from 1920s Appalachianwho can’t manage to get pregnant despite the bargains she makes with a series of men who are dying of black lung disease, a houswife from 1960s suburbia who almost saves herself through yoga (think Sarah Palin mixed with Marge Gunderson from the movie Fargo), and a modern-day high-powered woman executive (she thinks of sitting on the subway as being in the “Circle of Hell”) who is on the verge of a breakdown. In this one-woman show, Simmons’ performance is completely absorbing and her timing is so impeccable that the silences are as compelling as the dialogue. Her last show is tonight (Friday) at 8:25—don't miss it!
Murder, Hope is not easy to figure out, although it’s clearly about the rare brain disorder called Landau-Kleffner Syndrome that robs a person of speech and language, a woman who is one of a group of “Wobblers” who are people who have lost their sense of balance and the book The Brain That Changes Itself. Then there’s an evolving Batman character who aspires to “need no one but love everyone”, a slightly murderous nurse, a couple of “murder ballads” accompanied by the musical saw and a talking puppet made out of a book. Oh yeah, there’s also a hilarious simulation of a Youtube video of a reality TV talent show using a cardboard Youtube sign and images cut from magazines and stuck on sticks. Couldn’t figure out all the connections here but according to the book, our brains are always creating new connections so maybe it will come to me. In the meantime, I enjoyed the show.
Daniel Packard’s Live Group Sex Therapy, an interractive stand-up comedy routine that will make you laugh out loud—a lot. Before the show started we wrote questions about the opposite sex or described weird sexual experiences on pre-printed forms. Packard spun off the info on these forms during his monlogue and thanks to audience questions like “what’s with all the shoes?” and a story of an encounter with a crazy cat woman, on the night I was there he had some good material. Packard is most successful when he talks about his own life (when he told his dad he had a girlfriend, for some reason his dad said "I hope she can swim") and about the nuts-and-bolts of sex (c’mon, put the Wii down and find that G-spot”) and less successful when he actually gives advice, but he he kept us laughing and, despite some initial trepidation (what am I getting myself into?), the show wasn’t scary at all.
If you can’t make the show, this video will give you the flavour, but if you are going to attend, forego the clip as he uses a lot of the same material in his current show.