Saturday, July 11, 2015

Review of Nerd Alert, the Comedy Skit Show by Pure & Weary


Nerd Alert
Comedy duo Pure & Weary (Katherine Biskupic & Leah Frires)
Directed by Jo Scott
Running Friday, July 17, 2015 and Friday, July 24, 2015, both at 7 PM
On the stage at The Annoyance Theatre & Bar, the Small Theatre
851 W Belmont Avenue
Chicago, Illinois
773.697.9693
$6.00 Cover
50 Minute Performance

Finally reaching the point where I have free time today for projects, with at least three of them at the top of my priority list, I choose probably the least urgent one of them all: writing a blog entry! Amplifying this local, short nerdy comedy act makes for a worthy cause, though, and I'm hoping to keep the entry short, too.

SPOILER ALERT: I've tried to minimize spoilers, especially in regard to punch lines. I hope my efforts proved successful.


Nerd Alert made for a great affordable spontaneous thing to do when I got home from work and Michi offered to take me out on a date to see it. I'm sure the quality remains high when you plan to see the show, too. For $6, Pure & Weary provides a great deal well worth the money.

It would be worthwhile for $10, even. Apparently last night made for consuming entertainment and food that the providers could have charged more than they did. If you get the chance, check out Four Belly: Asian Street Food. Tasty food for a good price, and the place was empty last night. Please go and help keep it in business. I would hate to see another yummy place go out of business for no good reason.

Anyway, back to Nerd Alert: The name captures the premise of the show. They put on a show about nerdy stuff, and it got comedically melodramatic in a good way. Pure & Weary capture the nerd experience then put it on stage for all to see. Every once in awhile they cross over some delicate lines of social nicety to make you feel uncomfortable and thought but laughing at the same time, like jesters do.

I most fondly remember the skit about the perfume marketing party (you know, like a tupperware party). I can't remember the brand being used. The themes of products revolved around Greek mythology and the possible side effects that come along with them. Putting just a modicum of thought into Greek myths will bring up A LOT of uncomfortable themes. Despite that, hilarity ensued while causing thoughts about how things may not have changed in the millenia since the writing of those myths.

Biskupic and Frires had a ton of fun parodying the behavior at said parties, which proved infectious, symptoms including laughter. Said reaction also leads to some thoughtful discomfort, and I'm not entirely sure which direction that thought should go.

Another skit provided a more heartwarming scene than a comedic one. Two shy, nerdy girls at a party individually sneaking into a dark corner to get away. They don't know each other, but they bond over social discomfort and discover their mutual love for nerdy things. The jokes they make, I don't totally get, in realms of nerdiness that I don't dwell. The heartwarming bonding, however, dwarfs the semi-obscure comedy and makes for a scene that many nerds fantasize about or remember with warm nostalgia.

I don't remember tons of details from their NPR/WBEZ skit. Compared to the pacing of NPR, though, it comes as a rapid fire montage of silly versions of All Things Considered; Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me; This American Life and many more. Even though I can't remember details, I know it had strong nerd themes and did a lovely job of touching on our love for the station with its awkward, crunchy authenticity that bounces between elderly and young at the same time.

How does that network go from cornballiness informing the listener to introducing them to "young," relevant, hip music that I falls somewhere between college radio music and mainstream rock stations? NPR/WBEZ, I love you and your complexity.

Pure & Weary provides an oh so disturbing and guffawful interpretation of select lines from Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime & Punishment. They could probably make a whole show inspired by this skit.

One skit had a principal giving out punishment to a girl who wrote Holocaust victim fan fiction. The sincerity of the girl reading her fan fiction sprinkled with bathos made me think twice about how bad of idea such a thing would be. Maybe it just needs a rebranding with a new genre name to make it something more palatable.

And many many more skits that will have you laughing, thinking and having that awkward discomfort that comes with seeing the lines we draw in social sand crossed. In this case, though, Pure & Weary do it in a constructive way. I think the warm feelings nerds and geeks get help make up for it.

After the fun I had last night, I need to start paying more attention to announcements of fun things in Chicago rather than depend on Michi enticing me to go out. Sometimes it sucks being one of those people who have a lot of talent at filtering out ads and announcements.

LINKS OF NOTE:

No comments: