Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Review - The WYSIWYG Talent Show: Starfucker - Close Encounters of the Famous Kind

Stage Buzz Review by Byrne Harrison

The first WYSIWYG Talent Show at it’s new home, Bowery Poetry Club, was full of ups, downs and the occasional sideways. The new venue is smaller than the old space (P.S. 122), with quite a bit less seating. While this made for a nice crowded feel at last night’s show, it doesn’t bode well for the extremely popular I Love a Parade or Worst.Sex.Ever. shows. And since there are no longer advanced ticket sales, you’re highly encouraged to show up early. Luckily the Bowery Poetry Club features a bar (with Magners, glory be!), so you’ll be glad you did. While the bloggers who perform at this monthly reading series are generally amusing, everything is funnier with a slight buzz.

Last night’s show Starfucker - Close Encounters of the Famous Kind featured seven bloggers discussing their brushes with fame: stalking celebrities, digging through garbage, appearing on reality tv - all in a bid to be famous, or at least famous by proxy. In most cases, it didn’t make them famous, but it did make for some fun storytelling.

First up was Matthew Callan, who kicked things off with an amusing story about digging through popcorn, soda dregs, half-eaten hot dogs, and only God knows what else, just to claim a Mike Piazza foul ball. Matt’s story was great and no doubt had the baseball geeks in the audience coveting his piece of history.

Lindsay Robertson followed with the tale of her ‘Summer of Corey Feldman,’ during which she and Corey lived in the same L.E.S. building and she, at least according to the media, stalked him. Lindsay was a great performer and her story had just the right take on the evening’s topic.
Next up was Derek Hartley, who as a former Hollywood insider and current radio host, had the most A-list celebrity stories. His delivery was great and the stories he told were brilliant - and probably could keep a team of lawyers busy for a very long time.

Project Runway contestant Diana Eng was up next with a story of her rise from fashion nerd to reality tv star and the freaks who came out of the woodwork to greet her. Diana was cute and endearing, and though her story was short, it involved faux-robot ‘man parts’, which was unique, even for WYSIWYG.

Rachel Parenta followed, and while she seemed a little off her game - perhaps due to the new venue which made it hard to see and hear the audience - she scored a solid hit with her song about Gabriel Byrne and how he refuses to return her calls, even though everyone knows he loves her.

Next up was Doug Gordon who told a couple of quick stories about ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’, meeting Ted and Jane at a Braves game, and having Claudia Schiffer offer to buy him ice cream. He saved most of his time for a hilarious and cringe-inducing story of how he was partially responsible for gameshow/talkshow host John Davidson singing a love song to a pig in front of a bunch of angry Charlie Daniels fans. This was easily the high point of the evening.
Finally, drag diva Amnesia Sparkles performed a very off-kilter piece about her now famous appearance on American Idol. Amnesia also seemed off her game - in fact, she may have been playing an entirely different sport altogether - but as she would probably agree, when you’re fabulous, you don’t have to be coherent.

While WYSIWYG gurus Chris Hampton, Andy Horowitz and Dan Rhatigan still have a few wrinkles to iron out with the new venue, WYSIWYG continues to provide an outlet for some of the most creative, and often overlooked, writers and performers in the city.

The next WYSIWYG performance will be Scandalous! True! Confessions!!! - You Heard it Here First on April 18th at the Bowery Poetry Club.