Friday, August 16, 2013

Namosaur by Scott Oken (Factory Theater)

In my opinion, there are 3 kinds of Factory Theater plays.

#1. Soldiers/Heroes face off against a maniacal bad guy.

#2. A bunch of people have dance battles against other people.

#3. Other.

My favorite has always been the first. There are a few reasons why, and let me tell them to you.

Factory plays have a great and storied history of making meandering, ridiculous sagas that travel to the ends of the Earth and back again. In the end, we laugh, we fear for our safety, and we bring our own beer. The quality is always high, but you will find yourself with favorites. For instance, Matt Engle has emerged as a first rate director who understands the nuances of comedy. Corri Pasko and Sara Sevigny write crazy popular woman based comedies, but my favorite director is Manny Tamayo. Tamayo understands the cinematic scope of the insane stories and brings a film maker's eye to the Prop Theater.

Namosaur is the story of a group of soldiers and 2 ladies who have to go through the jungle for some reason and there are dinosaurs there and some crazy Korean Baptist preacher named Nguyen Nguyen. This dude has some dinosaur eggs on a necklace and he trapped one of the ladies and told her about them or something and she wrote it down in a notebook. It's not important. What IS important is that there are DINOSAURS in VIETNAM!!

How has no one thought of this yet? It seems like a classic idea.
Well, good on you, Scott Oken. You are a visionary.

Usually in the hero/soldier plays, The Factory needs to bring in some talent that you haven't seen before on that stage (because their ensemble is too famous for themselves anymore), and gives people who you have seen in smaller roles a chance to shine. Case in point in Namosaur; Tim Amos. One of my favorite red-haired, dolphin-tattooed gentlemen has been seen as various unlikeables including pornographers, casino owners and Irish detectives. In Namosaur he finally gets his chance to shine as a leader of a bunch of ingrate soldiers in the middle of the harsh woodlands of Vietnam. Amos' cigar chomping Lieutenant is abrasive and noisy, while still being cuddly and having short hair. Sort of like Meg Ryan.

Tim Amos tells these broads what's what.

The Factory uses the role of "the villain" to showcase some of their incredible comic talent. I have seen Steve Walker in Top Shelf, Dan Granata in League Of Awesome, but never have I ever seen a villain played with the robust testicles as Eric Roach in Namosaur.

Here's the beautiful thing about Eric Roach as a comedian and something the rest of you need to learn: He doesn't even care of you are there or not. He does not need your laughs because his confidence in his performance does not rise and fall with audience approval.

In my opinion that is the greatest thing a comic can do.

This is from a different play, but Roach sort of looks the same!

Roach plays Nguyen Nguyen, a German dinosaur scientist that moves to Vietnam to make dinosaurs, I think. I was laughing too hard to hear what he was saying.

Anyway, what I am trying to say is, if you have never seen a Factory show, this is the one for you to see. If you have, then you know what I'm talking about.

After the show is out, I can finally ask you:



-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

4 Comparisons Of Other Shows to Orange Is The New Black According to One Person

1. Somewhere between Will & Grace and Oz lies Netflix's ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK


2. It's like Maude and Barney Miller met MSNBC's LOCKUP and three-wayed in the 

 +  +

3. If Seinfeld had a baby with Faces Of Death!

 + =

3. It's like Friends got shived by LA Law and then run over by Spenser: For Hire!

4. It's sort of like Miami Vice got married to Married with Children on the set of Ice Road Truckers!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

An Open Invitation to Hedy Weiss

Dear Aunt Hedy,

We have been noticing the amount of flack you have taken today just because you endorse racial profiling of Arabic people.

This is not a new thing with you. After the “Wicked” incident, you have had countless other slip ups that might not be considered “acceptable” by modern left-leaning Chicago society.

It’s hard for you to understand why they are upset. We know. I mean, it’s not like you are all that smart in the first place, so you are probably confused why all these Jews are drinking Haterade.

It used to be so much easier before the Internet, eh, Hedy? I mean, back then you could pound something relatively coherent on a stone tablet, have a Pterosaur fly it to the Editing cave, ol’ Gutenberg could get it on the printing press, and you could sling your racist missives at the stupid flyspecks you called readers and if someone was offended, why all they could do was yell at a switched-off radio until their house negro brought them a Moxie with Hershey’s syrup to calm down their nerves.

And while we still aren’t convinced that Arabs can read, we know for a fact that there are Blacks and Mexicans waiting with drooly lips for you to slip up. And slip up you have.

So, we have a solution to your problems:

We are making you a once in a lifetime offer to be Head Reviewer (this is just a title, you should know you are never better than us) at one of Chicago’s finest and most selective of theatre blogs: Eric & Andy’s Reviews You Can Iews!!!

See, Andy and Eric are super busy with parenting and actually doing art and catching up on House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, so we could use someone who seems to have the free time and wherewithal to really spread some ignorance and racism to the public at large!

A lot of people think we are joking when we pretend to be ignorant, but here is a little secret just for you:

We are just like you.

We love to drink wine and sleep in dark theaters. We love to leave without saying goodbye and we also made a deal with Broadway In Chicago for free hotel room stays just for saying that their plays are the best.

See? We will maybe even pay you better. It’s time for you to get out of the print game. Chris Jones is winning. HE ALREADY WON.

Staying at the Sun-Times will only prolong your inevitable downfall into...well, into something that is somehow worse than where you are right now. You’ll be left with an office filled with dusty plaques for great writing that you know don’t mean anything because you know in your heart of hearts you weren’t meant for the newspaper world. Too much drinking, too many late nights with Royko banging you up against a murphy bed that he didn’t even take the time to fold down so you could at least get off your bunions.

Anyway, enough of “This Is Your Life”. You have 24 hours. We are giving you 24 hours to come and be head critic for our blog. If you don’t, then the offer is going to Rom Rilliams and we heard he loves Arabs, so... what’s it gonna be?

Asalam a lakim, or whatever those people say. Namaste? Peace, love, hair grease? Who cares. Come work for us. We need those sweet hit counts, BRAH-dimir Putin.

Happy Ramadan,

Eric and Andy