Friday, October 16, 2015

"The Submarine Show" ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ BANG

For pure physical comedy genius, sick belly laughs and the sight of two guys having the time of their lives befuddling your funny bones, you must see Slater Penney and Jaron Hollander's "The Submarine Show," playing upstairs at the Aurora for only nine more days. Really. You must.

They're a submarine. They're in the submarine. They're in the water. They're on dry land. They're hacking through the jungle (read: the audience) with machetes. They're monkeys, peacocks, mama birds having babies. They're swallowed up by quicksand (read: behind the audience). They turn beautifully synchronized cartwheels. And they really, really, have to pee. Penney's Gotta Pee Ballet is worth the price of admission all by itself, but, you know, use the bathroom first.

 These guys are already old pros, they are instructors of clowning and gymnastics and circus skills.  Hollander is the Artistic Director of Oakland's Kinetic Arts Center. They've both done turns with Cirque du Soleil. They really know what they're doing.

But above all, they're in it for the laughs. There is no dialogue, only relevant and irreverent sounds coming from both of them. Lighting helps, but these guys don't need anything but a sidewalk to be brilliant. Or a pretty lady's lap. Or the back of your chair. It's a short show -- less than an hour -- and everyone is sad to have to get out of the water.


The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division would love to hand out Five Stars for "The Submarine Show," but that's for PRODUCTIONS, YA KNOW? Here we just have two guys and no props or sets or staging or music or dialogue, for God's Sake. So we are awarding FOUR STARS with a BANGLE OF PRAISE. Each performer gets one star for himself and one star for the way they coordinate their physical movements with the other guy. The BANGLE is for Penney's GOTTA PEE BALLET, but it might be for giving CPR to that mosquito or trying to get the sub's dead battery started, except the key went down the drain and into the fish, oh, you know.

"The Submarine Show"
Harry's UpStage
Upstairs at Aurora Theatre
2081 Addison Street, Berkeley
Through October 25

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