'Chase and Paul…'
If only everyone could keep their sense of humor through adversity like Chase Padgett and Paul Strickland. The guitar-playing duo kick off the show with "Everybody is a Critic," featuring lyrics cribbed from the worst reviews of their solo shows. ("Padgett should cut about half the cast of his one-man show," reads one. Ouch.)
Sorry, guys. I don't have much to add to that song, but Padgett and Strickland aren't lacking in material. The pair have a winner in this loose but charming showcase of harmony and humor. A solo turn allows Padgett to show off his flair for musical improv, but the real highlight is watching these guys play off one another. The songs are typically simple ditties that allow their voices to shine through, and Strickland's grounded humor is a perfect complement for Padgett's optimism.
60 mins. Rated G-14. Gold venue. Shows: 5-23, 11:30 p.m.; 5-25, 3 p.m.
Who needs Flash Gordon when Jett Backpack is defending the universe? A silly send-up of sci-fi B movies, "Jett Backpack and the Battle at the End of the Universe" goes to comedy — and beyond.
The show involves many of the creative (some might say manic) brains known for their work on the equally loopy "Dog Powered Robot" franchise, so that means there's enough ham and cheese on stage to build a first-class submarine sandwich.
But that's all to the good in this romp. John Bateman, as the title character, sports painted-on abs and milks every laughable line out of self-important lines such as "I have a hangover…" — studly pause — "from sex." Leer.
Jennifer Guhl is a plucky starship captain who makes an admirable straight (wo)man to Bateman's silliness. As the evil villain (hiss), Kevin Sigman chews enough scenery to give himself indigestion. And David Almeida is a stitch (especially for "Star Trek fans" as a sensitive, female crew member.
In the wrong hands this could very quickly go wildly off course, but Josh Geoghagan's script and Kevin G. Becker's direction keep this piffle headed for the stars.
60 mins. Rated G-14. Yellow. Shows: 5-23, 5:45 p.m.; 5-24, 6:30 p.m.; 5-25, 1 p.m.
It's so easy to empathize with John Grady. He's just a nice guy trying to make it in a cold, hard world of bullies and thugs. In his one-man show, "Little Pussy," Grady shares a few of his life-changing moments. Not big ones like weddings or childbirth, but smaller moments — like being confronted by junior-high tough guys in the locker room.
As Grady deftly shows, those smaller moments can be just as important to the human psyche.
In "Little Pussy," Grady talks of "battle wounds," but his battles aren't physical ones (well, mostly not, anyway). They are internal struggles on what it means to be a man. His vivid writing brings to life that quaking 12-year-old in the locker room, a nervous twentysomething facing down street punks, a New Yorker confronted by a belligerent Halloween drunk.
"The bus to manhood is leaving, and I am not on that bus," he wryly relates in one story. But the manhood he achieves — a belief in being his brother's keeper — is one to emulate. And the story of his journey to manhood is one to remember.
60 mins. Rated G-14. Pink venue. No shows remaining.