Posted by Cody Hoesly
Situationism is…Reggie Watts.
Or at least it was last night, and will be again tonight, and the next night again. At least that’s what Reggie’s T-shirt implies and the TBA catalog confirms. If a situationist is one who creates situations, then the advertising was right. One minute Reggie was telling us about coming out gay (you register online and are sent a Gay Integration Counselor); the next minute he was descending into a cavern beneath a dance club like Indiana Jones; the next minute that story had ended and Reggie was making music. Soon there was dancing, then we were back to videos, another story, more sounds, and soon we couldn’t hear what Reggie was saying because he wasn’t saying anything. He was, but he was muting his voice on purpose to mimic a broken mic.
In other words, the show was absurdist — full of pop culture references, advertising and sales tropes, and an apparent focus on creating situations and moods more than advancing an overall tale or plot. True, Reggie did keep coming back to the year 2012 (when the world will end), and much of the show seemed to want to prepare us for that eventuality, such as by reducing our consumption of energy. But that was interspersed with Bill Cosby imitations among other seemingly random bursts of vocal creativity. Is there no sound Reggie can’t make with his mouth? A modern Michael Winslow, but altogether something different.
Perhaps that is why the catalog description of this show is so vague. It certainly can’t be called misleading. Go see this show for these reasons: It is funny. You will get most of the referential jokes and satire. The beatboxing and other vocalizations will amaze you. Reggie’s partners, which include a singer and a dancer, are both amazing. Amy O’Neal seems about as in control of her body as Reggie is of his mouth. And that’s saying a lot. This show is a joy.