Mary Birdsong

December5th

No, YOU Shut Up!


Just saw Lauren Weedman’s solo show “NO, YOU SHUT UP” tonight at the Steve Allen Theater.  Get ready, ’cause I’m gonna GUSH.  What follows in this post will probably seem super-gay. But f— it. All I have to say is… RUTH DRAPER IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN L.A.! (90% of you won’t know who the hell Ruth Draper is, so I’ll use another reference most of you WILL know– R2D2. Stay with me.) In “NO, YOU SHUT UP,” Lauren doesn’t seem to be acting at all so much as transporting some sort of hologram of someone else on to the stage. Remember how R2D2 made Princess Leia appear out of his lovable little metal robot body so she could talk to someone who wasn’t really there with her in the same room? That’s what Lauren did tonight. She was R2D2 (but way hotter).  Go here to get tickets, or just show up: http://steveallentheater.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=310241

She managed to give her audience all the COM(edy) that the sitCOM-spewing machine known as L.A. promises to deliver (and rarely does) but she does it with one chair, on a blank stage, with no set. The budget for the show was probably about eight bucks. The thing is, though… she doesn’t just settle for delivering comedy. She gives an audience what we are all so f—ing hungry for but dare not admit. Something that engages the imagination and makes you gasp a little bit and go “wow.” No explosions. No car chases. No sex scenes. And we were riveted. There were about 10 people in the audience (small crowd= comedy killer), yet the laughs kept coming as if she were performing a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden. And as we were laughing, she’d turn on a dime and give us this shockwave of THEATER. WHAT? What’s that? Yeah. For real. She makes your heart break for a second, but before you even have time to indulge in that heartbreak, she’s zoomed across the stage with high energy music and some awesomely weird gesture that you will not see any character in the “reality” world of tv and film– with their love of realism– do. She dares to break of out of this town’s obsession with “real” and “small” and “understated” acting by bringing these INCREDIBLY UNIQUE and INSANELY SPECIFIC characters to life, yet her acting is so TRUTHFUL that you keep thinking, “Oh, wait a second. Oh, my God, oh shit, is she talking to me? Is this like, one of those interactive shows where she wants me to talk back to her? Oh, no. No, she just LOOKED like she was.” The entire show is nothing but monologues. But because she is the kind of actress she is, they cease to be monologues. They are full-blown conversations that we happen to be hearing her side of. But she does it so viscerally that you can actually hear the person she’s talking to talking back. And they’re saying “THANK YOU.”

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