Monday, February 12, 2007

Iowa City Feb. 9, 2007

TIME COP NIGHT

order in the comments

14 Comments:

Blogger AdamEggHahn said...

Sorry for the delay.

No Shame Order 2/9/07

1) A Fuckin' Job Interview by Mortimer Snert
2) The Guest by Janani
3) Snot Water by Jamal River
4) Moll by Arlen Lawson
5) A Song by Fran Arant
6) I Cut My Finger on Spaghetti Sauce by Evan Schenk
7) Singularity by Nick Beatty
8) Tell Me Something True by Greg Machlin
9) The Fall of Rome by Mirri
10) Cat Ball Episode III: A Little Gas in the Ass by Jake, Michael,
Jamal, Alyssa & Booger
11) Here Is an Old Thing I Wrote Because I Didn't Write Anything New
This Week by Katy Baggs
12) Work-A-Day Number 37: My Only Vice Is the Fantastic Prices I
Charge for Being Eaten Alive by Rape Slaves
13) A Little Joke at Your Expense by Some Assholes
14) Clowntopia by Steven Ptachek
15) Barnaby by Brian Lenth & Jake Gontero
16) I Have Nine Children by Patrick Ashcraft

2/12/2007 7:32 AM  
Blogger jml said...

Come on you slobby bobbies! We let's talk about a show! Someting fun! Someting nice! We I'll get you started!:
That nice. That fun.
NO.1:A JoB!! By Mattie Smoprt!!! Hah ahahI laughed at THIS piece! Forcefully!


...More on this LATER!



Kay now it you turn.

2/12/2007 3:00 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

1) A Fuckin' Job Interview by Mortimer Snert

I enjoyed this piece to a medium amount. I liked the mechanism of the job interview and also the occupation of writing bootleg film novelizations, but there were a few things missing.

First, I wanted to know what sort of job he was applying for, which I don't remember being stated. If he was trying to be a copy editor for a magazine, it's one thing to be talking about his other job. If he was applying to be an office manager or a barista or what have you, it means something else entirely.

Actually that was the only thing "missing" so I don't have a second point. Sorry.

2) The Guest by Janani

A monologue by Janani and a little change of pace. I liked this piece; I really visualized the disintegration of the house around her and I could feel how sinister the guest was.

3) Snot Water by Jamal River

I think Michael Tabor's posse (the group identification I use to refer to Michael and Alyssa and Jamal and Jake and Brian "Lumo" Lenth) are probably the masters of understated delivery of a completely absurd premise. It reminds me of a kung-fu film where there's like the rival martial arts schools and they fight eachother. You guys are like the Cobra Dojo and the people who make pieces with more structure and so on are like the Dragon Dojo (which is the good dojo, assholes).

Also I liked this piece. Whatev.

4) Moll by Arlen Lawson

Good monologue. I don't really have any more thoughts on this.

5) A Song by Fran Arant

Meh.

6) I Cut My Finger on Spaghetti Sauce by Evan Schenk

This story was true.

7) Singularity by Nick Beatty

This made sense from a physical science perspective except that it didn't allow for the recent discovers regarding dark matter, which many in the astrophysics community feel is exerting a counter-gravitational force which would tend to continue to drive all matter and energy outwards from the center. If true, this would mean that after the heat death of the universe there would be no collapse and rebirth of existence, only eternal inky blankness in infinite space.

This piece was okay.

8) Tell Me Something True by Greg Machlin

Getting personal at No-Shame and talking about serious stuff? A rarity. Thanks for this piece, Greg. I think it especially showed the wounds that suicide leaves on every around.

9) The Fall of Rome by Mirri

Icky but good.

10) Cat Ball Episode III: A Little Gas in the Ass by Jake, Michael,
Jamal, Alyssa & Booger

I have just about had enough of your cat-ball pieces, Cobra Dojo. On the other hand I spent most of the piece not really paying attention to it but watching the reactions of these two guys sitting immediately in front of me who had not seen the previous episodes. One of them really liked the fart jokes and low humor, and the other liked the higher stuff.

So on balance this was a good piece.

11) Here Is an Old Thing I Wrote Because I Didn't Write Anything New
This Week by Katy Baggs

I enjoyed the results of this particular bout of laziness. The dialogue was maybe a little high-minded and hard to understand for people who weren't expecting that kind of humor and weren't at all familiar with avant-garde theater (my girlfriend didn't get it) but I heartily enjoyed it.

12) Work-A-Day Number 37: My Only Vice Is the Fantastic Prices I
Charge for Being Eaten Alive by Rape Slaves

I don't really remember this one.

13) A Little Joke at Your Expense by Some Assholes

This is the one where everybody called Steve-O fat, right? It was good. I wanted to yell epithets at him but felt it inappropriate at that juncture.

14) Clowntopia by Steven Ptachek

I think this piece was good and could be developed into a cool one-act play. However, I was definitely turned off by how Steven reacted when the lights were dimmed on him at five minutes and put out at six. No special privileges, when you go long the lights punish you.

15) Barnaby by Brian Lenth & Jake Gontero

This was okay but not really as good as previous Brian Lenth musical productions. The guitar work was pretty slick but the vocals were sort of hard to make out and it seemed like it was maybe a little rushed.

16) I Have Nine Children by Patrick Ashcraft

Excellent. Yes. Excellent.

2/12/2007 3:42 PM  
Blogger nick beatty said...

1) A Fuckin' Job Interview by Mortimer Snert

Call me 833. Movies into novels. I was amused.

2) The Guest by Janani

The suspence had me on the edge of me seat the entire time

3) Snot Water by Jamal River

I was grossed out the entire time. But I still thought it was funny.
"Spare me the technical details" nice

4) Moll by Arlen Lawson

When he shouted "tonuge" it echoed and resonated in the theatre and then everything was silent. THAT was amazing.

5) A Song by Fran Arant

Liked it.

6) I Cut My Finger on Spaghetti Sauce by Evan Schenk

Once again Evan has me laughing histarically.

7) Singularity by Nick Beatty

I don't care how wrong about physics I am, Even though Adam later pointed out over pie that I might be right, I worte this for a feel good aspect. not an explanation of the way the universe works. It's just a comforting premise that helps me sleep at night.

8) Tell Me Something True by Greg Machlin

I like the way the dialogue is organized. I enjoyed the overall tone of the piece

9) The Fall of Rome by Mirri

This was good

10) Cat Ball Episode III: A Little Gas in the Ass by Jake, Michael,
Jamal, Alyssa & Booger

I still like these!

11) Here Is an Old Thing I Wrote Because I Didn't Write Anything New
This Week by Katy Baggs

This was my favorite piece of the night. Favorite line "Gored by a taxidermied Marlin"

12) Work-A-Day Number 37: My Only Vice Is the Fantastic Prices I
Charge for Being Eaten Alive by Rape Slaves

I had trouble following the dialogue. But I think that that was the point. My notes say I liked it and im pretty sure thats still true.

13) A Little Joke at Your Expense by Some Assholes

theres always the one guy people make fun of.... good times

14) Clowntopia by Steven Ptachek

I wanna here how this ends! Michael was perfectly cast in this one!

15) Barnaby by Brian Lenth & Jake Gontero

It teresting combo of guitar and Trombone. It was fun

16) I Have Nine Children by Patrick Ashcraft

at last the origins of qoute boy! the moment I saw patric sneaking down for the audience I started cracking up.


Cant wait till next week

2/12/2007 4:06 PM  
Blogger janani said...

1) A Fuckin' Job Interview by Mortimer Snert

Fun, but the rhythm got a little old (interviewee says something odd, interviewer reacts in horror, repeat cycle). Snert's eunuch voice almost carried it, though.

2) The Guest by Janani

I wish there were an audience gauge, similar to laughs, to tell if a serious piece is on target.

3) Snot Water by Jamal River

A delicious fluid! I wish I hadn't actually seen the making of snotwater. It was grosser when I could use my imagination.

4) Moll by Arlen Lawson

I also remember the part where Arlen yelled and his voice reverbed. Sometimes A's delivery is too mumbly and inward for me to follow; not this time.

5) A Song by Fran Arant

?

6) I Cut My Finger on Spaghetti Sauce by Evan Schenk

Katy's voice sounded spectacular. I hope Travis is still my friend.

7) Singularity by Nick Beatty

I think I'd have enjoyed it better as a pure monologue. The other voices didn't add much.

8) Tell Me Something True by Greg Machlin

As I read it (before performing it) I thought it might turn out too confessional, but I ain't sure. Did it?

9) The Fall of Rome by Mirri

I love Mirri's stories of religious mania. Ave Maria too.

10) Cat Ball Episode III: A Little Gas in the Ass by Jake, Michael,
Jamal, Alyssa & Booger

I think Jamal acts better than the other two. Jake and Tabor are in on the joke, but Jamal's character seems to have more INVESTED in this whole conundrum of the catball. More AT STAKE, intellectually, spiritually.

11) Here Is an Old Thing I Wrote Because I Didn't Write Anything New
This Week by Katy Baggs

Brava.

12) Work-A-Day Number 37: My Only Vice Is the Fantastic Prices I
Charge for Being Eaten Alive by Rape Slaves

?

13) A Little Joke at Your Expense by Some Assholes

My heart bled for Steve-O.

14) Clowntopia by Steven Ptachek

Too many words. Mirri was a fantastic mime.

15) Barnaby by Brian Lenth & Jake Gontero

I prefer other Lenth songs. I did not like the guitar/trombone combination. Jake played well; I just didn't dig that pairing of sounds.

16) I Have Nine Children by Patrick Ashcraft

"He praises the music of the harp who has not heard the music of a child's tender prattle."

2/12/2007 6:07 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

1) Snert
My only problem was with the end, which was a little unsatisfying; I don't remember there being any real conclusiveness. I really don't mind that we didn't know what the interview was for, in fact, I think withholding details like that made Matt's character all the more interesting, as if he were occupying his own weird little world.

2) Janani
It's like Janani and Arlen are having a contest to see who can freak my shit out more. Great imagery.

3) River
In terms of form, I think this piece had MORE structure than most of the pieces of the night. It had a funny premise, good characters, hilarious lines ("My stomach just barfed.") and a satisfying conclusion.

4) Lawson
I always, always love Arlen-logues, because they do the thing that makes me love art: subtly show the world through the lens of somebody with interesting ideas.

5) Arant
I don't think it worked as an a capella song.

6) Schenk
The casting was fantastic, with Janani's uncanny reading of Travis, and Shelton's not-even-trying-not-to-be-Shelton performance of Mirri.

I'm holding back on my usual criticism of Evan's pieces (that they're too long), and am now wondering if the pace of his writing is a bad thing or just part of the Evan Experience. It seems to work, in a strange way.

7) Beatty
Meh. I guess I had trouble seeing/agreeing with the rationale for this philosophy. And it might have been a bit of a misstep to perform this for the audience of physics experts that apparently is No Shame.

8) Machlin
Pretty good. Let's have a "meaningful autobiographical effusion" night at No Shame sometime.

9) Mirri
Mirri, I do not remember your piece, and I am sorry.

10) Jake, Michael, Jamal, Alyssa & Booger
Exactly what role does Booger play in the writing of these pieces?

11) Baggs
There's something hilarious about eccentric artists trying, and failing, to articulate their lofty aesthetic ideas for the general laypublic. It probably takes a certain amount of eccentricity to write an eccentric character like this realistically, and it's that same point of view that comes through in all of Katy's writing.

12) Blaine
I love it when Jamal performs. I don't even remember what this was about, I just remember when Jamal called Jesse "swingset" and I laughed a lot.

13) Steve-o is fat
Michael wanted me to be in this, but I'm not very good at insulting people. I stick to honest dressing-downs.

14) Ptachek
Cool concept, but I couldn't stay interested in the story.

15) my song
This was fun! Jake's performance was way slicker than mine.

16) Ashcraft
Great reveal. I like how we're descending into the back story and psyche of Quote Boy. And the guy who played Quote Dad was great.

That's my review!!!

2/12/2007 7:02 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

The statement about Janani's performing as Travis reminded me of something Katy said on her livejournal (which I read because it's usually interesting--unlike every other livejournal I've ever seen); she said
"I forgot to ask Evan what he thought of my taking artistic license with the piece."

This is what Evan thinks:
"As I told Janani before the show when she asked how to present the role of Travis, people in my pieces are generally free to do whatever they want and surprise me, within reason. I thought playing Joanne Woodward with a throaty rasp was just as appropriate as anything else. Looking at clips of her work I found on the internet, Joanne Woodward (aka Paul Newman's wife) had a sort of mannish voice even when she young; so fuck it, why shouldn't she have a cigarette-ravaged throat?"

End quote.

2/12/2007 9:57 PM  
Blogger bamingic said...

1. First complaint: Labor Day is off my list of favorite
holidays because it provided the season opener with a hideously
scant and not-ready-to-have-fun audience. This audience did not
laugh when they should've. And
where the figgidy-fo are the mo-fo curtains, jack? Also
audiences don't seem to like the sort of endings where they
don't know when to applaud. Also insufficient response to
"Puppy rape," a phrase which I feel is intrinsically hilarious.
This piece was fun and funny and a fun-ness.

2. The dialogue had kind of a screwball-comedy feel in print,
and I think it would've worked better had all the lines been
delivered His-Girl-Friday double-speed style. I just
automatically presume that I will not ever be cast in anything.
Ever. So I don't see why one should bother getting one's hopes
up, only to have them dashed against the jagged rocks of the
Theater Department.

3. Uncomfortable, unprepared actors + hostile stage
directions which force them to get their bosoms and buttholes
groped= a barrel of laughing.

4. The performance, which was all screeching and weirdness
for its own sake, outweighed the content_ which was also weird.
Usually when people present an unpleasant, sociopathic
character, its founded in some sort of exaggerated stereotype or
something, but this was just free-form weird. I believe these
are good things. I personally wish more performers would persue
this line of acting.

5. Fran has cornered the market on blow-job skits. If only the
audience could read the stage directions, they would have
learned that the grand-finale was a blow job administered by a
little boy. To Fran. A little boy giving Fran a blow job. I'm
sorry Fran, I was just not prepared to make good on the stage
direction "Pizza boy blows load, exits." I tried though, Fran_ I
tried.

6. A gag-collection is good, because usually at No
Shame yelling or sticking the word "fuck" in the middle of a
sentence is supposed to fuckin' pass for a fuckin' joke fuck.
But there were jokes here, and funny ones, even if the staging
was A) too far back and B) mostly blocked by the blow-job table,
and the performers were mostly C) too quiet.

7. This was the only piece the audience whipped up any
enthusiasm for, so I'm jealous. Also due to this old-man-
telling-story-about-brutalizing-dead-celebrities riff, I must
write a new piece for this week, so I'm pissed off. Also this
was funnier than my piece, so I'm just furious. Also The Great
Dictator, even if it wasn't very good, at least had its heart in
the right place, and Chaplin's appalling, maudlin speechifying
was at least heart-breaking in that Roger Rabbit "Sometimes
laughter is the most powerful weapon we got" way. I couldn't
say this for, say, Life is Beautiful.

8. I've seen more Beckett Parodies than Beckett plays.
Actually, I've never seen Beckett staged. Also it's hard to do
a parody of comedy.

9. Mirri wins the evening with DickCramp's line about
how everything would be great, if it weren't for the agonizing
cramps in his dick. What I like about Mirri's dick jokes is
that they pretty much consist of saying the word "dick." That's
way funnier than trying to do a dick pun or a situation-dick gag
(no pun intended on phrase "dick gag").

10. I Jake hated Blair Witch, but this parody
didn't give me any sense of what he thought was wrong with it,
apart from an excess of curse words_ of which Blair Witch had
significantly fewer than the average No Shame sketch. It
reminds me of those MAD Magazine parodies, where you just get
the general sense that the writers knew they had to do a "send-
up" but didn't really have major qualms with the movie, so they
just toss in a bunch of jokes not really about the movie.

11. You and your friends will be saying "Mind if I shoot a
load in your face?" for weeks!

12. Jesse comes out, pretends he hates theater, is rude to
the audience, says "fart" says "vagina," takes off pants,
consumes waste matter, falls down. It all takes 53 minutes
because he has no editing skills. Audience doesn't laugh. Most
people only stick with unvarying formulas if they work. Also,
the Wacky Wall-Walker joke was a total misfire, and I got this
vibe from the audience like they didn't have any fond childhood
memories of Wacky Wall-Walkers.

13. Admittedly wasn't listening, because I was shaking my
ass so damn hard, yo. However I know it contained the line
"took the poop out of the cage," and that's a giggler if I ever
heard one.

14. I hope good monologues will be back in vogue this
season. My only complaint about monologues is that people wind
up not utilizing the space, and that's a shame when you have a
really good physical performer like Mr. Stevo. Mind you, he
did enough in "Spap Oops" to sate anyone's Stevo appetite
for the night, so what am I yammering about?

15. I read 1984 in 7th grade, and it still hasn't come
true. I saw Blade Runner and Brazil and read Brave New World in
8th grade and none of them have come true. Everything I saw in
1999 had Millennium or 2000 tacked onto its title, and none of
them came true, but they all gave me a headache.

16. Someday in the distant future, someone will do a non-comedy
piece. I am lying. It is Opposite Day. So I am lying. I just
blew your mind_ or DIDN'T I?!?!

2/13/2007 6:58 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

1) A Fuckin' Job Interview by Mortimer Snert--had me laughing out loud. There's something about this piece that was a lot funnier than it would have seemed on the page, or being described. Still needed that elusive third thing (aka a punchline/twist.)

2) The Guest--gloriously creepy, but I was really annoyed at the guy who was AUDIBLY TALKING in the lobby! Eesh. Made it difficult to concentrate.

3) Snot Water--Surprisingly funny. Lose 30 seconds at the end?

4) Moll--I remember Arlen's, uh, *vivid* introduction better than the piece itself.

5) A Song--I have forgotten this. I think I liked it at the time.

6) I Cut My Finger on Spaghetti Sauce--this did have the Evan problem of not showing us enough of the action (e.g. the trip to California), but Janani's dead-on impersonation of Travis was kick-ass.

7) Singularity by Nick Beatty--this I think was good. I was too nervous about my piece to really concentrate.

8) Tell Me Something True--frightening to perform, but Adam & Janani did an excellent job. Janani, I was trying to avoid at least the maudlin aspect of the confessional element through distance, Dave Eggers-style.

9) The Fall of Rome--too freaked out by doing piece to concentrate, but Mirri being Mirri, I suspect it was very good.

10) Cat Ball Episode III: A Little Gas in the Ass--Eh. I kind of need the aliens or something; the joke's got to be turned or twisted in an unusual way (c.f. Patrick's ongoing series.)

**11) Here Is an Old Thing I Wrote Because I Didn't Write Anything New
This Week--absolutely brilliant & extremely enjoyable.

12) Work-A-Day Number 37: My Only Vice Is the Fantastic Prices I
Charge for Being Eaten Alive--damn. Why don't I remember this piece?

13) A Little Joke at Your Expense by Some Assholes--Steve-O *is* fat.

**14) Clowntopia--this was dazzling. I loved it. I was sorry to see the lights go down, and almost made me want to request an "in from Chicago" exception to the rules? Or, Steve-O, time your freakin' piece.

15) Barnaby--it's a blur.

*16) I Have Nine Children--The third-best piece of the evening, and a BestOfNoShame contender. I didn't see it coming. Spot on. Of course, now that we're looking for Quote Boy, it will get increasingly difficult for you to work him into your pieces… I'm psyched, though.

2/14/2007 12:11 AM  
Blogger jml said...

"Work-A-Day Number 37: My Only Vice Is the Fantastic Prices I
Charge for Being Eaten Alive--damn. Why don't I remember this piece?"

Jesus fuck, why does NO ONE remember that piece?! It was great! It was my favorite piece of the night, prolly! Partly cuz it was really fun to be in, but also cuz it was HILARIOUS

2/14/2007 12:42 PM  
Blogger jml said...

1) A Fuckin' Job Interview by Mortimer Snert

Yeah fun cool. I also don't want to know what job he was applying for. It clearly didn't matter to the applicant.

2) The Guest by Janani

I waited too many days to remember enough to review pseudo-properly. Sorry.

3) Snot Water by Jamal River

I liked it it was funny. I was very disappointed to disappoint Evan, though, as he found logic in the piece's Gunga Din reference and inferred from it that I am clever. I am not clever, I am random. Sometimes randominity accidentally makes sense and gives the incidental impression of forethought. Sorry, Evan.

4) Moll by Arlen Lawson

I am the same as Greg! The same! (i.e. I remember the graphic intro mostly.)

5) A Song by Fran Arant

Don't remember the song so much. The lad won me over as a stage presence though, jus cuz he seemed like a sweet guy. You a better man than I is, Franga Din! Get it, Evan? "Franga" Din!!!!!!!!!

6) I Cut My Finger on Spaghetti Sauce by Evan Schenk

I liked it, it's a good story. (Honestly, I got even more revved up by the version you told in the lounge, even though it wasn't as action packed.) Thanks for hacking up your guns.

7) Singularity by Nick Beatty

The universe ending and starting over forever is kind of a beautiful idea, I agree. It goes nicely with the whole reincarnation, "circle of life!", Hakuna Maturda Can You Feel The Love Tonight??? vibe. But science says we'll all drift into the void and freeze away into nothingness, which is kind of all I could think about.

8) Tell Me Something True by Greg Machlin

I am not the man you want reviewing confessional pieces.

9) The Fall of Rome by Mirri

I can't remember. I apologize.

10) Cat Ball Episode III: A Little Gas in the Ass by Jake, Michael,
Jamal, Alyssa & Booger

Booger's role in writing these is non-existent anymore, but he IS the one who grew the cat ball, invented the series's premise, and acted it out time and again. So he gets permanent writing credit.

11) Here Is an Old Thing I Wrote Because I Didn't Write Anything New
This Week by Katy Baggs

I... also can't remember.

12) Work-A-Day Number 37: My Only Vice Is the Fantastic Prices I
Charge for Being Eaten Alive by Rape Slaves

BESTOFBESTOFBESTFOBTSTF

13) A Little Joke at Your Expense by Some Assholes

Yeah, that was more fun than I thought it would be.

14) Clowntopia by Steven Ptachek

As soon as he gave me a scrip I was all, "This is totally gonna get cut off." That's what I said inside my head. Out loud I did not say it, so it was not helpful.

15) Barnaby by Brian Lenth & Jake Gontero

I'm surprised by the luke-warm reviews. Damn fine song, I'd say. Trombone and guitar together I like a lot, myself.

16) I Have Nine Children by Patrick Ashcraft

Quote Boy was quite funny again, as he tends to be. I didn't love this piece as much as everybody else, but I enjoyed it fine.

2/15/2007 2:13 PM  
Blogger AdamEggHahn said...

According to Internet evidence provided by Adam Burton's computer, two former Iowa City No Shamers can currently be seen in beer commercials.

In one, a game of rock-paper-scissors ends with a man hurling a rock into another's face. The hurler is Neil Balls Campbell.

In the other, a metal pole in a gent's apartment is not an erotic dance aid as his date assumes. Rather, it is a tool his roommates use to enter from the level above whenever they suspect he is serving beer. The second roommate to enter, visible at the very end of the ad, is Mike Cassady.

These two were regulars when I started doing No Shame. They both moved west after graduation (2001 or 2002?) to seek fame and fortune in the entertainment industry.

2/15/2007 3:44 PM  
Blogger arlen said...

Yeah...
They've done a bit more than that. Most of them seem to be doing pretty well for themselves, actually.

2/15/2007 6:41 PM  
Blogger Michael Tabor said...

I heard that Mike Rothschild, instead of Harrison Ford, is playing Indiana Jones in the next Indiana Jones movie!

2/16/2007 1:54 PM  

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