POST: 'Commedia dell’Artichoke' - this guy tries to figure out ways to pay his rent

What's it about?

Basically, the show is about this woman who wants to get rid of pizza theatre. 

What'd I experience?

I walked into this show feeling tired and sick. Right as I left my dorm, I was ready to fall to the floor into a deep sleep, and my stomach was turning.


I had a show to attend. 

I made it five minutes before the show started. I got myself situated quickly. I sat in the middle of the row. I had no idea what to expect.

Looking around people had plates in their hand. 

Of pizza.

I wanted pizza. Who wouldn’t want pizza?
It turns out you get a free slice with your ticket. 

I devoured my slice, waiting for the show to start, I had not eaten before.


Okay, to be perfectly honest, I was really confused for some of it. The kind of confused where you have a general idea of everything that’s happening, but if someone asked you to explain in detail you’d have to give an exasperated shrug. 

She wanted to raise the rent for the pizza owner. To how much you ask?

Now I write this in all caps because that is how I feel like they said it. This one sentence, whenever it was said, was said in caps and with dramatic background music.

The show's kind of a musical. And they all wear these very interesting half mask things. And it’s also kind of a comedy. 

So the whole show is about how this guy tries to figure out ways to pay his rent.  
Except he never really figures anything out.

That is kind of why I was very confused. It's almost like there was no point to the show, but then again so many interesting things happened that had nothing to do with anything.


So. Here’s one of the scenes that kind of threw me off.

In the beginning, when we first meet the lady in charge, who is wearing all white with gold chains and a matching bright red mask and long blazer, she is telling another man to go deliver the news about raising the rent ONE DOLLAR MORE THAN HE CAN AFFORD.

I would just like to take a moment and really appreciate this character. From what she was wearing to how she sang coming in and out of the stage. She sang a variation of "Hello"
It had something to do with spilled Jello making a mess.

It was so pointless. 
But also so lighthearted. 

OKAY. So here is the part that threw me off: 

The guy who she instructs to relay this message to, nods. And then she tells him to stand still and sticks her long red nose into his mouth.

They make odd sex noises.

I remember in this moment being so thoroughly confused. 

And this same person who she instructs goes and tells the pizza owner. And then this news-deliverer sticks his beak into the pizza owners mouth. The difference is he tries to be as good as red-nosed lady but it looks like he's only pleasing himself. 

The pizza owner seemed to be pretty violated after and asked him to leave.

I was still confused. Are they having sex? Did they just have sex?
What was up with this?

Later on these random plumbers come out and talk about measuring the stage. And one of them mentions, “that lady with the dick on her face” 

So then I put my curiosity to rest and accepted that it was probably sex.
Or. That's what I chose to believe.

What I kind of loved about this show is that you could be aloof as you watched it.
Very little of what they did or said was really relevant to the show. 

It was kind of really nice, after studying for classes day in and out, to sit down and just turn your brain off for a little bit.

I felt rejuvenated after the show.

I didn't get all the jokes.
But I got enough of them.

This show just made me feel lighthearted and happy. 
It reminded me that I need to stop taking things so seriously. 

When you think about it, the show was about someone losing their business. 
Which is not a light topic at all.

But, it was a comedy, so it made everything into a joke.
Sometimes things are easier when you don't let them matter as much. 


Want to see it?

$9 (thru OffOff@9)

Commedia dell'Artichoke
Gene Frankel Theatre
thru Feb. 6