Thursday, July 14, 2005

Dingo Breakin Electric Taco Boogaloo 2 (or something)

Okay, I've got to break in and be a critic for a second.

Imagine this scenario: Let's pretend that one of your closer friends on Planet Earth is an acclaimed area writer. Now pretend that aforementioned friend has written a multimedia sketch comedy show that's being presented at Comedy Sports in downtown Rock Island this weekend.

Now imagine that this friend has involved the co-writing talents of several area writers, some of whom you reeeally like, some of whom you're not such a big fan of, and one of which you've DATED somewhere in your sordid past.

Pretending is fun, isn't it? Let's pretend that you've had reservations about seeing this show, because you're questioning whether the group of writers in question can pull it off. You're rooting for the home team to win of course, but still a bit edgy as to whether you're going to find yourself wincing through the show.

Then let's pretend that you pick up a copy of the River Cities Reader and see a review of the show's first weekend that includes the phrase "infantile at best, repellent at worst, and in all cases, profoundly unfunny." Let's pretend that the headline of the review uses the words "load of crap" and NOT in a good way.

Let's pretend that you, wanting to be the supportive friend, spend the day practicing your best "Gee, this was reeeally great!" face. Let's pretend that you begrudgingly head to the show tonight expecting the VERY worst.

Then let's cut to reality -- tonight I went to My Verona's production of "Dingo Boogaloo 2: Taco's Revenge" at Comedy Sports.


Surprisingly great. Laugh out loud great. And any reviewer (Hi, Mike Schultz!) who didn't appreciate the show for what it was needs to get his head (Hi, Mike Schultz' head!) examined.

Listen. Here's the facts. Yep, Sean Leary (editor of The Dingo magazine and main writer of "Dingo Boogaloo") is a friend and co-worker of mine. And yeah, as such, I suppose you, as a normal and sane person who doesn't take no guff from nobody, would immediately yell "BIAS!" and point your grubby little finger at me and not take any stock in anything I spew out about it.

And you, my friends, would be wrong. Let me be perfectly frank here: I went to the show tonight really expecting not-so-good things. I got suckered in by the bad press the show's received in a couple area newspapers (but NOT, proudly, by the home team Dispatch/Argus reporter, who ALSO agrees with me that it's a belly full of kooky fun.) I was really thinking tonight would be awkward.

And it wasn't. Once again, Sean's triumphed, and My Verona is now 3 for 3 on reeally cool performances.

"Dingo Boogaloo" is a series of sketch comedy bits intricately woven together into a makeshift performance. And (gasp) it has NAUGHTY words in it. Some of the material is a bit BLUE. You don't want to take little Susie to this show, lest you end up like a certain unnamed country DJ in town. But folks, let's face it, we live in a blue world these days. Turn on your TV. Watch "South Park" and "Family Guy" and "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" and "The Daily Show" and hell, watch "Friends." Then fall over laughing, as you should. If you can take those shows for the absurd fun that they are, then you can take "Boogaloo."

Yes, the show is occasionally puerile, juvenile, and other words that end in -ile. But its also occasionally genius. Mixed in with the pee-pee and poo-poo jokes is a hardlined skewering of pop culture and the occasional not-so-subtle social commentary that makes me stand up and throw the devil horns.

I'll be honest, if I had gone tonight and the show sucked, you're absolutely right, I wouldn't put a bad review up on this blog because I'm friends with one of the writers and I've seen another one of 'em nekkid. (Not Sean, either, as much as you'd hope.) BUT... I wouldn't be waxing poetic about it either - I simply wouldn't have mentioned it. But the show WAS funny as all get out, and I reeeally enjoyed myself tonight. I went by myself, and usually when I go to a gig solo, it's bound to be a night of uncomfortable bad times for yours truly. Within 10 minutes of showing up, I'd totally forgotten that I was "ooh-lookit-the-weird-all-alone-kid." I was too engrossed in laughing my tail off.

And the crowd who was there tonight agreed wholeheartedly, as laughs and applause and cheers attested.

If you're one of the folks who have read the not-so-kind reviews from the first weekend... and wait, let me clear one thing up: Mike Schultz at the Reader is a GREAT guy. He and I went to college together. (He probably doesn't remember me, but I have vivid memories of him showing me "The Exorcist" my freshman year and teaching me where to freeze frame to see all the spooky subliminal stuff they threw in.) Mike's a fantastic writer, and most of his reviews are SPOT-ON. I have nothing but respect for the guy... but on this review, boy was he off the mark.

"Dingo Boogaloo" isn't Shakespeare. If you're a "proper" theatergoer, stay home. If you're offended by fart jokes (even though I don't think there WERE any,) stay home. If you have ever in your life thought to yourself, "Man, that Jerry Falwell raises some good points," stay home.

But if you're up for a raunchy laugh, go see the show this weekend. It's playing at Comedy Sports (next door to Circa 21) through Sunday, kids.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just read the READER review and the one at the YOUR MOM website (written by a UTHS girl, ouch, who was offended by a gay-sex skit that was apparently cut from the production).

Having not seen the show, I can't comment on its merits, but the READER review was certainly an outstanding example of invective.