Before the lights went down to signal the start of “Transition,” my friend asked me what we were about to see. I smiled and said something like, “It’s Reggie Watts, you just have to see it…” Unfortunately, that wonderful, indescribable* quality of Watt’s shows that makes them such a joy to watch also makes them infuriating to sum up in a blog post. Suffice to say, “Transition” doesn’t disappoint. When Reggie Watts takes the stage, in a billowy tunic and clutching a goblet, he launches into an absurd, mock-pompous tornado of prose, and the words “An Soliloquy” appear behind him. This corrupted phrase, and the later presented equation “Deevolution + Revelation = Devilation,” serve as the guideposts to the show’s theme: the radioactive, solipsistic**, half-life of human relationships, and the absurd theater that results.
Using his trademark “10 octave” voice and looping pedal, Reggie offers to cheer a girl up by singing about how he would like to watch a movie with her on a Saturday afternoon, eat ice cream together, and fuck her “a little bit” (but just a little bit). Offstage we are “treated” to a skit where Reggie interrupts mock-cunnilingus, with the frequency of “Can you hear me now?” to ask how he’s doing. A “web-cam” interview is conducted about social networking, but when the female subject clumsily trods onstage wearing the absurd, “Brazil-esque” real-time audio video rig, her conversation with Reggie, unprotected by the mutual aggrandizement of technology, devolves into meaningless faux-psychological “relationship talk.” “Transition” side-tracks through these sequences in Watt’s typical stoner-friendly stagger, but the show works, and the destination is reached, even if you can’t be sure how you got there, and anyway, that’s what google maps is for.
- Abe Ingle
* Maybe: a funny Thom Yorke meets Afrika Bambaataa ?
** “This is today’s secret word, when you hear it, scream real loud”- Jambi