THE BIZARRO BOLOGNA SHOW
nytheatre.com review by Derek T. Bell
Dan Piraro describes The Bizarro
Bologna Show, as an "evening of pure bologna in the form of songs,
stories, cartoons, puppets, poetry, clairvoyance, nouns, adjectives and
MUCH, MUCH MORE!" or, alternately, as "a guy jacking around for an hour
and a half." This loose-knit one-man vaudeville is a little bit of both.
From an early bit featuring a pair of argumentative dogs, Bruno and
Steve (played by two very personable hand puppets), through his final
song (accompanying himself on a cartoon guitar), Piraro, creator of the
widely syndicated cartoon "Bizarro" proves himself an amusing host.
August 15, 2002
Bespectacled and casually dressed, Piraro displays a personality that ranges from smug to self–deprecating. And though he occasionally wastes his wit on easy targets (country music, the George Bushes, Sandra Day O’Connor of all people), he more frequently hits pay dirt. His unique take on comic impersonations, his explanation of the difficulty of writing a joke a day while going through a divorce, and his exploration of the question of "just what is a ‘Tambourine Man’, and would you really want him to play for you?" are just three of the more memorable moments.
But in the end, Piraro’s cartoons are still the best of what he does. Presented as slides and read aloud, they are highly imaginative, endlessly inventive, and often bust-out-laughing funny. Like all great work, their appeal transcends boundaries. In fact the high point of the show may well have been the laughter of one small child, unable to stop giggling at Piraro’s slightly twisted renderings of classic Dr. Seuss characters (my favorite being the Hippo named Horton who sings for the Who).
I am not sure what this all adds up to. But Piraro made me laugh consistently for over ninety minutes. And that’s not bad for a guy just "jacking around."