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Friday, September 18, 2009

A Belated Review: Entertainment for People

Posted on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Last Thursday The Woods hosted Entertainment for People, a variety show produced by Melissa Lion and Frayn Masters, the ladies behind Back Fence PDX. It was their first effort at such a show, and a worthy one indeed.

First on the docket was Beth Lisick, a San Francisan who co-founded the Bay City's version of The Moth. Pretty and petite, she assumed the microphone with confidence and told the audience that, throughout the night, she would relate anecdotes of her most horrifying and shameful life moments. Which she did. And she was hilarious, matter-of-factly describing her threesome with a creepy old dude in Japan and the time she was a house guest and used the dog towel instead of the fancy, people towels. Many of her readings were set to ambient music, which only increased the effectiveness of her deadpan delivery. She pretty much made the show, appearing on stage four or five times to regale us with her stories. Cheers to you, Beth!

After Beth came auGi, a local comedian who very excitedly delivered an account of his horny adolescent that was, quite frankly, a bit of an overshare and at times kind of awkward. He nonetheless received some positive responses from the audience, and he was certainly enthusiastic, so let's give him props for that... Following his monologue was a sketch by Eastland Academy, a sketch comedy duo comprising Masters herself and her partner in comedy, Shelley McLendon. They delivered a funny and well-received scene about unicorns at a high school graduation party. As far as I can tell, if you look wistfully into space and have a unicorn horn on your head, you will probably be funny.

And then came Fogatron. Have you heard Fogatron? He is an out of control beatboxer and can make all kinds of weird sounds with his throat. Sounds which, if you tried to make them yourself, would make you look and sound like an idiot. In short, he was totally awesome.

That was Act I. Act II featured more of the delightful Lisick, another sketch from Eastland Academy, some more vocal stylings from Fogatron, and Dan Kennedy. Yes, the same Dan Kennedy who sometimes hosts your podcast of The Moth! He was long-winded but very funny, explaining his drive to Portland from San Francisco in a jeep (he thought pdx was like three hours away-ha!), his attempt to startle his roommate by climbing out the window and ultimately falling into a patch of brambles, and his most recent writing assignment for GQ, which involved living at home with his parents for a month. We like you, Dan. We like you.

All in all, it was an fun night in Sellwood. Congrats to the ladies at Back Fence for some good entertainment. For people. Word has it, this was only the first in what will be a series of similar shows, so stay tuned. Speaking of Back Fence, their September show is next Wednesday. Come to the Mission Theater on September 23rd for a night of true stories told by local people on the theme of temporary insanity. This particular intern may or may not be passing out free cupcakes after the show (if that doesn't sell you, I don't know what will). $12 at the door, $10 in advance. Doors at 6 pm, show at 7:30. Be there!

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