Dana Gould might just be the Robin Williams of Generation X. An offbeat comedian with more oddball characters than a cheap novel, Gould brought the only touch of professional humor to an otherwise tired evening of self-titled alternative standup.
Over-cutely touting itself an “UnCabaret,” show promised an evening of “un-” comedy for audiences bored by hack stand-ups. Apart from Gould, show delivered three mediocre yuksters spinning self-indulgent tales of love, life and urban earthquake blight.
Performance artist/comedian Beth Lapides, her hair in a postmodern twirl, hosted the proceedings, opening with a tiresome earthquake spiel. How funny was it? Zany Lapides placed a tall, thin cactus upstage, calling it her earthquake detector.
Kathy Griffin, Laura Milligan and Lynda Montgomery chimed in with bits about lovers who had deserted them or families that didn’t understand them. High-octane perfs from some of them didn’t cover the blatant lack of material.
Some comics might praise this as cutting-edge humor that doesn’t operate on plain old joke-telling, but rather comic riffs along musical lines. Others would just call it dull.
David Cross stepped in for the evening and stemmed the waning tide with an amusing two-minute bit on weightlifting.
Gould then offered a lively merry-go-round of characters starting with his Boston-born working-class father whose excuse for missing out on his son’s life was simple: “I was working for a living. I’m sorry.”
Gould bounced all over the tiny LunaPark basement stage and the show’s producers wisely allowed him more than the 10-15 minutes they gave the other acts. His manic energy reminds of Williams, but he controlled the hysteria. Bits were clearly born of more than just momentary ad-libs.
Show is skedded to run indefinitely on Sunday nights. One hopes future efforts will offer more polished stabs at un-humor.