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THEATER | BNW's latest installment of "How to Make Love Like a Minnesotan": Grade-school humor for adults
Reviewer's full disclosure: I have not laughed much while watching Saturday Night Live since Mary Catherine Gallagher's armpit sniffing. I'm just saying.
I've heard that sequels rarely live up to the originals, so perhaps "triquels" even less-rarely live up to originals. I didn't see either of the first two installments of the Brave New Workshop's How to Make Love Like a Minnesotan, but they must have been good, or why would BNW produce a third?
|how to make love like a minnesotan iii: the full montevideo, presented through april 24 at the brave new workshop. for tickets ($25-$29) and information, see bravenewworkshop.org.|
I can't answer that, nor can I explain why the place was packed, and people were laughing—sometimes guffawing—during the two-act, 15-skit, seven-euphemism production. I was not, although I did giggle a few times and smiled more than five times.
Overall, the skits were fast-moving, the flow between euphemisms made sense, and the acting was very good—occasionally excellent, particularly during "Women Eating." But the voice projection was quite "evolved" (it sounded like screaming for quite a few of the skits), and the overuse of typical Minnesota humor—making fun of living in Woodbury, using exaggerated Minnesota accents, being homo-sensitive around sports figures' friendships (and yes, there is a Favre joke)—was boring.
The clever skits on "eHarmony" and "Events and Adventures" were comical, even if you're not familiar with either (oh, you lucky person). "Red Alert," about that time of the month, and "Wedding Do's and Don'ts" were embarrassing in subject matter and in presentation. Note to all producers: Sexism is sexism whether it's hidden in sarcasm or not. Comedy is bigger and better than that. The "Office Romance" skit was worse than a bad day at a telemarketing office, and "The Single Guy Cooking Show" never did get too hot (although the actors had a hard time keeping a lid on it).
Throughout the performance the audience is treated to a variety of slang terms for, to borrow one of the terms, the "one-eyed monster," and yah-shure, it's kinda funny when you're looking at "Little Soldier" in big, bold type being called out McMahon-style over a microphone. But at some point, you think to yourself, "Wait! I'm not in second grade any more," and you just feel a little silly that you're giggling because you've never heard that one before.
However, the one thing that really turned my smile upside down was that there never was a "Full Monte"—on video or on stage—which left me asking, where's the beef? Maybe they wanted to save something for the next installment.
©2010 Betsy Gabler