December 7, 2010

Maria Bamford Review by Calle Hack

Maria Bamford Live @ Mayne Stage
Jem - Maria's long lost twin?
Contributing writer Calle Hack went to check out Maria Bamford last week at the Mayne Stage.

With thoughts of going to grad school, I dawned on my thesis project at 5:47am this morning. Find the undoubtedly present genetic link between Maria Bamford and Jerrica Benton, owner of Starlight Music during the day, but better known as her alter ego, Jem, of Jem and the Hollograms, at night. This link will prove that the dimension between 1985 cartoon rockstars and amazing comedians does exist. Huzzah! Take that missing link, Creationists!  Maria Bamford came out on stage, like a rockstar (ahem, Jem much?) and filled the theater with characters, voices, stories and punchlines that could only manifest from a fantastic land dubbed Bamford Brain, where I'm sure Jem vacations.  Aside from the current physical connection of the pink streaks dyed through the blonde hair, Maria and Jerrica have a similar connection in character transformations. Jerrica Benton has the ability to switch her self through "Showtime, Syngery!" creating Jem, the rocked-out persona. Similar transformations occur when Maria accesses her rolodex of characters and voices, thickening stories with astounding and seamless control that the audience wonders when Delilah will finish and Maria will return in body to continue. I imagine this magnificent display similar to watching brain synapses spark and release. I have more research to conduct, but my 6 year old self is thrilled about this discovery!  Maria's unique brand of comedy often described as alternative and self-deprecating delves into depression, family relationships, an almost self-justification for her participation and new found fame from the mainstream Target ads and the life of a single woman, not only in LA, but in the entertainment industry (the latter two kinda go hand in hand, though, right?).  Introducing new material and characters, as well as, intertwining polished bits and audience participation riffing, Maria succeeded in winning the crowd over and left us applauding on our feet (otherwise known as a standing ovation, dorks).  The night glittered even more with Cameron Esposito as Maria's opening act. Cameron has, by far, the most infectious energy I've seen. She engages the audience with her "don't you just love life!" smile and then entertains with pieces of life stories on her former job as a nanny and family conversations. Cameron is beyond amazing to see and a comedic Chicago gem (get it?) with an asymmetrical haircut.  Thank you, Mayne Stage. Keep the comedians coming.

Contributing Writer Calle Hack