How Much I Lied, ImprovOlympic | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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How Much I Lied, ImprovOlympic

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How Much I Lied, ImprovOlympic.

Monologuist Matt Besser likes to waste people's time by igniting trivial controversies in the letters columns of local papers. He wrote to the Tribune magazine suggesting people use black bean soup instead of pen or pencil to do its crossword puzzles. He once pretended in these pages to be a member of the Lupins to poke fun at rock critic Bill Wyman, then owned up to it in yet another letter.

If there were some purpose to these missives other than to fuel Besser's contempt for those daft enough to respond, perhaps his one-man show How Much I Lied wouldn't be such a crashing bore. But this bloated, self-indulgent, two-hour rant against familiar, easy targets--letter writers, Reaganites, Klansmen, Cubs fans, rednecks, pedophiliac priests--is little more than pseudoanarchistic, monotonous bile. Forcing his audience to endure a stand-up comedy routine posing as cultural critique, fake sideshow antics (he pretends to break a bottle over his head), and tasteless home videos of folks getting baseball caps stapled to their heads and late punk-rock perv G.G. Allin taking a dump onstage, Besser is never shocking or infuriating, only irritating and dull. Strutting about the stage spewing diatribes, he clearly knows only two styles: "Look at me" and "Fuck you." Neither is appealing. So far the only way he's been able to gain any attention is by writing letters to himself and about himself. Now we understand why.

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