If you’re looking for a comedy show with a community feel, Animal Show has what you need. Hosted by Maya Sharma, David Steele, and Justin Linville, last week’s show featured acts from Edy Modica, Charlie Bardey, Ian Lockwood, Lorelei Ramirez, and Robby Hoffman. Thanks to the hosts and each comic’s distinctive style of comedy, laughter filled the intimate setting throughout the show.
The hosts introduced the show and highlighted their individual personalities and the way in which they mesh together. They created a communal vibe by sharing brief stories from their lives, polling the audience, discussing the birth of Animal Show, and priming the audience for a hysterical show.
[Photo credit: Matt Albani]
First featured comedian, Edy Modica, prompted the audience with questions like “who am I?” and “how do you figure out if you’re going through a rough patch?” She showcased herself as the hyperbolic inner voice we all hear on the inside, and walked the audience through a facetious and self-illustrated slideshow on how to overcome feelings of doom. Modica’s comedy can best be described as a combination of self-deprecation, darkness, animation, and esotericism that is breathlessly hilarious.
Charlie Bardey took the stage with a song snippet and high energy. Speaking quickly and grabbing your attention with facial and bodily gestures, Bardey incorporated a blend of risqué one-liners and comically embarrassing fantasy stories into his act. He perpetuated the communal feel and kept the audience on their toes by admitting his vulnerabilities and providing honest glimpses into his personal life.
Next up, Ian Lockwood took an in-your-face approach as he riffed with the audience, delivered quick punch lines, and made his flamboyance known. He revealed stories from what he dubbed as his “sad, straight years” then transitioned to nonsensical humor by making up facts, doing impressions of himself, and addressing very specific, almost obscure topics – and it totally worked. He finished his set with an amazing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, after which I inadvertently noted,“I think I love him.”
Lorelei Ramirez took the community and in-your-face vibe to a new level as she connected with nearly each member of the audience – literally. It began as a handshake, then became a test of how-many-people-can-touch-her-at-once. Her unique ability to make the audience simultaneously comfortable and uncomfortable continued, as she pressed onward with just-long-enough pauses between jokes and transitioning from one story to the next. She ended her set with a hearty-laugh inducing series of noises and impressions.
The final featured comedian, Robby Hoffman, immediately made her identity known as assertive yet subdued, intellectual yet controversial, and lesbian yet unabashed. She used her persona to her advantage as she straight-face delivered jokes that ranged from Anne Frank to rubber sheets, from Judaism to the truth about pizza not being THAT great. Hoffman toed the line of appropriateness and delivered big laughs through the end of her performance.
The next Animal Show performance is on May 7th – be sure to mark your calendars for a wild ride.
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