Reggie Watts is an incredibly talented man. A brilliant storyteller, master of the non sequitur, fine singer and songwriter, multi-vocalist and funny performer, Watts charms as he confuses. “Disinformation” is a purposefully disjointed mishmash of styles and media: hip hop, scripted comedy, physical comedy, film, dancing, singing, sampling, turntablism, and more. The heart of this piece is that 2012 is approaching fast, the world is nearly over, there’s not much time left, so let’s party. Break out of your routines, embrace randomness, and feel good.
Much of his humor is based on juxtaposing seemingly-arbitrary characters or events, such as a thin white man wearing a hard hat and orange vest dancing hip hop, or commercials for a malaise-curing drug next to a preview for some medieval warrior movie. He voices several characters, including lecturers, badasses, divas, Brits, and Bill Cosby, sometimes letting his story veer into static, a manifest disconnection that nonetheless leaves audiences attentive and laughing. Some stories trail off into another piece, another character, or are just dropped altogether.
Two highlights include Watts’ supporting cast members. Orianna Hermann’s bright and hearty voice on one duet, where she and Watts keep singing “The more you buy, the less you are,” makes comedy of consumerism. Amy O’Neal’s limber, electrifying hip hop dancing takes all eyes off Reggie during a different number: she is an amazing dancer. I should add, too, that fellow collaborator Tommy Smith’s spot-on pharmaceutical employee routine is also hilarious.
Reggie Watts is the kind of person who makes you laugh without saying a word: a simple twist of his head, a raise of his eyebrow, a smile. He also astounds with his song craft, looping voice-created rhythms and melodies as he sings/squawks over his own material. It seems that, rather than feeling sole ownership over his material, he is willing to work together, improvise, and lose himself in the party that is “Disinformation.”
Posted by Dusty Hoesly