Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Christopher Titus: Neverlution": ☼ ☼

"Lady Gaga is proof that David Bowie married Carole Burnett." Comedian Christopher Titus's new solo show "Neverlution" is full of lines like that. The show has some brilliant moments but it's unsettling. You never quite get over the sensation that people younger than you are laughing 'way louder than they should be laughing.

Titus stands on the stage and rants about various things. His idea about late-term abortions (they should be legal up to the age of 22), and his comments about America being addicted to prescription drugs are really funny. His experience at the DMV where an out-of-control obese five year old manages to make the DMV even worse, which segues into Titus's view on child-raising in modern America, make your head smack back in your seat as the laughter flows. His ideas and delivery are excellent and some of the gags are truly novel. It's all good.

But -- honestly -- why would you want to pay theater ticket prices to see a comic who is doing little more than his night club act? Wouldn't you rather get two drinks for your money at a comedy club?

But Titus is not appearing at a comedy club, he's standing in the middle of a theater stage lampooning modern culture. And yet, that's the only reason he's got an audience. He's been on TV. That makes him worthy. It rubs us the wrong way to hear about his humble East Bay roots -- OK, he never got an A in his life, wow that's GREAT Chris! That means it's OK to charge $42 for a ticket and $4 for a bottle of water at intermission. Got it.

It may be generational. The twenty and thirty-somethings who were laughing the loudest probably were closer to the source of Titus's rampages. He's a funny guy.

RATINGS: The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "Christopher Titus" Neverlution" Two Stars. There are lots of great bits. If you're into contemporary culture you'll enjoy watching Titus rant about it.

"Christopher Titus: Neverlution:
Marine's Memorial Theater
609 Sutter Street, San Francisco
SHORT RUN: Four more performances ONLY, through Feb. 19


Anonymous said...

Christopher Titus crossed a line as a white, straight man making blatant racist, homophobic, and sexist jokes without any real redemption or even tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement. There were several jokes toward the beginning of the performance where I swear the only people laughing were the racist, sexist homophobes (I don't think it had anything to do with younger people thinking it was funnier) in the audience. We left at intermission (since when does a standup routine have an intermission anyway?).

DAK said...

That's a very interesting take on this performer. For me, I don't think making jokes about race or sexual politics makes you a racist or a homophobe -- it's good to laugh about that stuff. But it would have been nice to have the show go somewhere -- it was pretty much a rant.

Anonymous said...

Dak, I agree with you. I wonder when humor was lost in this country. I am female and never found any of his comments to be sexist. I find him refreshingly unbiased.