“That guy just hit the snooze button on death.” Random Guy from In the Middle of No One
That line which appears early on in the latest show at Woolly Mammoth Theatre from the internationally acclaimed comedy duo The Pajama Men (Shenoah Allen & Mark Chavez), captures the absurdist tenor to the evening that is not a little reminiscent of Monty Python. We move from a hospital filled with bitchy receptionists, frivolous Child Service workers, and eccentric patients to frozen tundras and future space research centers. The narrative involves aliens, deadbeat dads, explorers, marionettes, time travel, Ice beasts, orgasmic birds, and much much more in the space of about 80 minues. This might sound ludicrously convoluted to you. Let me assure you that you are correct.
The good news is that it doesn’t matter if you can fully follow along or not because laughter rather than comprehension is the goal here and on that score The Pajama Men are wildly successful. They employ slapstick, mime, improv, broad physical humor, and more (all while wearing pajamas of course) to introduce us to literally dozens of characters. They play multiple parts in each skit but such is their triumphant use of body language and facial mannerisms that its actually *not* hard to recognize the distinct personalities they’re playing even without the use of costumes and props. Indeed the show in Second City style is very minimalist; it’s just the two guys in their pj’s, two chairs, and Kevin Hume doing musical accompaniment in back. It’s very simplicity is what makes it so triumphant. This is a show that had the audience in stitches the whole way through.
Also it’s worth noting that in honor of their latest act, Woolly Mammoth is currently doing a drive for children’s pajamas now through January 6th. Donate a new pair of children’s pj’s and you will receive a free drink ticket. The pajamas will all donated the non-profit organization The Pajama Program.
The Pajama Men: In the Middle of No One
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
641 D Street NW
Through January 6, 2013