Todd Barry | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sandwiched between bands at the Pitchfork Music Festival opening-night party is master stand-up stylist Todd Barry. Skinny, bald, and pale, Barry looks innocuous, but his material, though clean, isn't. His voice has an aching timbre, and he mutters jokes with a permanently constipated expression. His timing is deceptively methodical, and he carefully controls his sarcastic tone--he can smirk and still come off bone dry. At the 2002 Friar's Club roast of Chevy Chase, Barry addressed the challenge of skewering the guest of honor: "It's not as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. It's as easy as looking at fish in a barrel. It's as easy as being somewhere near a barrel," the last four words spoken in a slow, confused cadence. His cool mockery of pop culture has earned Barry a reputation as a hipster comic, but his plain dress, lack of pretension, and penchant for self-deprecation transcend the label. Barry, Eugene Mirman, and Aziz Ansari each perform approximately 20-minute sets; the bands Sunset Rubdown, Voxtrot (see the Treatment in Section 3), and the Joggers also perform. Fri 7/28, 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $16.

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