Ron Lynch's "Tomorrow!"
As I rolled out of bed at 8:00 am this morning -- what passes for "sleeping in" around my house -- something occurred to me: Of course the Steve Allen Theater at the Center for Inquiry has a show that runs until 2:00-something am. Where do they have to be on a Sunday morning that they can't sleep in? It was a late night for me, and I'm used to rolling in at 1:30 - 2:00 am on weekdays. Exhausted as I was, I was just as exhilarated over this exceptional show.
Tomorrow! ran two hours without an intermission, and it flew by. Don't Stop or We'll Die opened with a short set of manic, comic nonsense. Imagine what the offspring of Flight of the Conchords and Ben Folds Five would sound like, and you will be a fraction of the way to understanding what this band is like. Better yet, track them down stalker-like and catch them live. They deserve your ticket money. This trio of bass, drums and keyboards are over-the-top yet pitch-perfect at exploiting the tropes of alt/pop music.
Our hosts for the evening, Ron Lynch and Frank Conniff took the stage. These guys had a casual, easy-going rapport and never missed a joke. Even when straying into anti-humor and the awkward stillness that is the hallmark of such comic absurdity, they were captivating. If the show had just been two hours of Ron and Frank ... well, it probably would have grown tiresome after an hour or so. But that first hour would be heaven.
The bulk of the evening was stand-up. Jimmy Dore, Josh Fadem, Ed Greer, Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn, each solid performers. I am unaccustomed to seeing that much good stand-up in a row. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop! It never did. Baron Vaughn in particular was uproarious, doing a bit about a homeless guy -- you know, descriptions of stand-up acts suck. Just kick yourself in the ass for missing "smoke pellet." Seriously, if you love stand-up, go see this show. Lynch obviously attracts top-notch talent.
The sketch comedy by Knuckles and Tits was surprisingly good, as well. Let's face it, we live in a town full of shitty comedy. I don't know about you, but bad improv and bad sketch turn my thoughts to suicide. When the word "sketch" is uttered onstage as part of an intro, I impulsively clench my jaw and brace for the worst. Knuckles and Tits were funny, and it's not like they were breaking new comedy ground! What they brought to the show was smartly written and fully committed to in performance.
We had a bit of MST3K-style awesomeness in the form of a scene from Stone Cold, an overblown piece of adrenaline and testosterone-drenched shit starring Brian Bosworth. Ron and Frank stood on either side of the screen providing the comic commentary.
And it ended with the Walsh Brothers. And Moon Pies. My God, the Moon Pies.
The main takeaway from the night is that everyone was having fun. Every performer, every audience member. With a ticket price of $8 and ample free parking in the lot behind the Center, why the hell wouldn't you go?
I'm mean, c'mon. Where do you have to be on a Sunday morning that you can't sleep in?