Bridget Everett and Ian Abramson, subtle comedy it ain't | Comedy Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Comedy Critic's Choice

Bridget Everett and Ian Abramson, subtle comedy it ain't

The cabaret comedian Everett flaunts an over-the-top sultriness, while local eccentric Abramson plays a vaudevillian angle (pencil mustache included).


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Bridget Everett is often described as an alt-cabaret singer—and she's often described as a hot mess. "Alt-cabaret" is almost certainly neutral, but "hot mess" doesn't seem nice. However, Everett actually is a hot mess when she performs. Her stage presence is erotic and chaotic, her big blond body wrapped in something low-cut and sheer. She'll spit a drink at an audience, rub her tits in someone's face, and/or pour wax on her chest, all while singing feel-good numbers like "Pound It or Pass" or "Just the Tip" with a strong and sexy voice. She's performing with musician and comedian Dave Hill, whose droll, sweet attitude should complement her well.

Opening for the duo is local out-there comic Ian Abramson, who arrived via Los Angeles two years ago. Like Everett, Abramson has a great quirk in that his act is extreme, yes, but not for the sake of making a crowd uncomfortable—instead he aims to make audience members laugh at weirdness they never recognized as something that could be funny. His quick rise has been aided by the creative-format performances he's produced—he's staged mock trials for comedians who've bombed, and during Seven Minutes in Purgatory comedians perform in an isolated booth while an audience watches on a video screen. Abramson draws from 70s absurdism, which can be a test of one's patience at times, but he balances that with the energy of vaudeville, going so far as to regularly don a pencil mustache that may or may not be composed of indelible ink. This show is gonna be off the charts.

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