Thursday, February 14, 2008

Live Review: Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me

To commemorate the release of Thing's I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me, a collection of stories from various writers/comedians on the subject of love, former Onion editor/TDS producer Ben Karlin has filmed a series of live performances at the UCB Theatre, featuring contributors to the book, as well as various local writers pining about the time honored masochist tradition of dating.

Starting off the evening was the houseband for these series of performances, Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, whose enthusiasm for their rendition of "Bye Bye Love" seemed only equal to their underlying desire to do everything in their power to absolutely not have to play "Stacy's Mom."

Hosting last night's event was noted performer, novelist, boxer and Fiona Apple flame, Jonathan Ames, whose always enjoyable stories of sexual misadventure and animal calls established the perfect NPR/McSweeneys tone.

First up was David Rees, whose story,"Get Dumped Before It Matters" about the importance of missed opportunities to be dumped was fun, though paled in comparison to some of his other work, and lacked the bite of his "Get Your War On."

In place of the scheduled Mindy Kaling, who may have been busy back to work (much to the chagrin of nearby "Office" fans who moaned, "Where's Kelly Kapur?") was writer Syler Klein (I may have her first name wrong as I was distracted by Fountains of Wayne's gleeful performer intros), whose rather long-winded tale of an adulterer who fucked with his socks on felt like a Bratz blog with no punctuation.

Fountains of Wayne then played "Hat and Feet," apparently their only song about being dumped. I believe my attention wandered somewhere after the "I'm just a sitting duck/That ran out of luck" line...

Next was the much anticipated David Wain, whose contribution to the book, "Persistence Is for Suckers," was hilarious and amplified my excitement to see his live performance of it. Sadly, Wain's voice had apparently been recently strained, as evidenced by his dog-dying-like attempt at singing with Fountains of Wayne.

To compensate for his lack of vocal acrobatics, Wain employed every audience member's comedy geekgasm come true: the damn-I'd-definitely-go-gay-for-Paul Rudd, and the always surprisingly sexy Kristen Wiig.

Hearing Rudd say to Wiig "'s about ten seconds until the New Year, and I hope you're having fun. 5-4-3-2-1 and hey! Suck my cock, bitch! Good bye," elicits the biggest laugh of the night. I think I soiled myself. No...yes, I definitely did.

Last, and definitely least, were members of the band Morningwood, who closed out the night with an original song that completely sucked the atmosphere out of the room.

All in all, Karlin's "Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me" was a comedy geekgasm success, and well worth the $5 admission price. If you're willing to gut it out on the standby line for the last two shows, it'll well be worth it.

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