Whether gay, straight, white, Sri Lankan or "Gaysian," there is one thing that all people have in common: They're fair game for The Screw You Revue.
Though the premise of an "old" man and a drag queen doing a revue style show might come off as hokey or silly, it only takes a moment and a certain one finger salute to discern this is anything but silly.
As the 89-year-old curmudgeonly star, Rayburn Sassy (Dewey Chaffee) is foul mouthed, ill tempered and heavily bigoted. Playing the "straight" man to his character is the statuesque Didi Panache (Douglas McGeoch).
Based on improvisation with a few pre-prepared songs thrown in as segues, Sassy riffs on audience members as Panache calmly attempts to keep him reigned in. There's a lot of audience interaction so be ready to become a part of the show at a moment's notice. Chaffee got a lot of play out of the simple act of a man on the front row dropping a pencil on the ground. His endless dogging of the man had the audience in stitches.
The duo also work in some games and a question-and-answer session to further involve the audience, but the strength lies in the unfettered off-the-cuff remarks from Chaffee. Sassy is crass to be certain. And there is no holding back in his portrayal of the old racist homophobe.
Naturally, this satirical act, as he adeptly affirms with the audience via some unintentional self-deprecation, is meant to draw attention to the ridiculousness of discrimination. And it works well. The diverse audience was more than welcoming of his Rickles-esque style.
Cathartic isn't normally a word thought of in relation to seeing a comedy revue, but the laughter inherent within this show is born out of the societal unease that accompanies living in a politically correct world where the one slightest misstep can result in a land mine of controversy. But cathartic laughter, it is. Just don't tell Sassy that about his style of humor. He's just a guy at ease with himself and, as he would put it, owning it.
◊ To see a complete schedule of shows and venues, go here.
◊ WaterTower is streaming several shows and events at Out of the Loop. To watch them on our site, click the US Stream icon at the top of this page. It will open a separate tab. The streaming schedule is also included there.