“The Big Four Oh” and why am I still sick???


I’m still home sick and EXTREMELY irritated about it. I have tried everything to become un-sick, including the magical healing power of the Mel-O-Glaze raised glazed twist doughnut washed down with a double shot of Emergen-C. Maybe I just need to give it more time to sink in.

So, while I’m home and not seeing shows, I’m taking a moment to reflect on The Big Four Oh: 40 Jokes, Poems and Stories by Brian Beatty presented by Brian Beatty at Bryant Lake Bowl. (This and the delightful An Evening with Alan Jr. and Chastity Gambler performed by Zoe and Alan at Bryant-Lake Bowl are the ONLY TWO SHOWS I’VE SEEN SO FAR ARGH argh argh ARGH!)

I’ve seen Brian perform his deadpan, dry comedy a few times, and loved it. This new show is a mishmash, loosely a reflection on his (at times incredibly messed up) life as he turns 40 – one-liners and jokes make way for a longer story within a story within a story. There’s something for everyone here, and also something likely to make everyone squirm. “My edge is further out than some people’s, because I lack boundaries,” Brian told me. The Big Four Oh is unpredictable. And Brian’s lack of boundaries means that you’ll undoubtedly have moments of discomfort. Don’t go in expecting a ROTFLMFAO experience (but you’ll certainly have bits of that – Brian is an incredibly funny guy). There’s something seriously wrong with you if you’re not absolutely horrified by some of Brian’s story – but the delivery isn’t gratuitously shocking, or seeking sympathy. This show is honest, raw and smart. Brian is forging a new frontier that’s a little hard to define; it both is and isn’t stand-up, memoir, storytelling, improv, and performance art (this guy can work a bear suit). Awesome. See him next at 4:00 on Sunday.