Arts Props for Reggie Watts (and Amy O’Neal!) in the NYT
posted by January 18 at 9:47 AMon
Former Seattleite Reggie Watts (and current Seattlelite Amy O’Neal) earn some good ink in the New York Times, for Watts’ show Distortion, running in the Public Theater’s Under the Radar fest.
DISINFORMATION Public Theater Through Sunday
“Some of you are time travelers. Welcome,” the absurdist comedian Reggie Watts says by way of introduction. “Please don’t give anything away.” In “Disinformation,” a sharp, wry and elusive entertainment, Mr. Watts, a man comfortably at home in the world of the ridiculous, transforms himself as quickly as a couch potato changes channels. He moves seamlessly from skits to songs to off-kilter stand-up, while talking in a subway train full of accents. He also occasionally mispronounces words for no particular reason: “bed” and “grandfather” become “bead” and “grainfather.” It’s a jittery, fractured show seemingly built to appeal to those with attention deficit disorder. You can try to keep up with this gifted performer, but don’t bother making sense of him.
Mr. Watts, who straddles the lines between comedy, music and theater, has a look as striking as his style: large tufts of hair sprout from the top and bottom of his sizable head. There’s a hint of a smirk during his cockeyed one-liners (“I was attending a conference on conferences”), but when he breaks into a James Brown-like song or a human beat box, he turns deadpan, putting his nimble baritone to great use.
He’s assisted by a team of good-looking, young performers including a flirty singer named Orianna Herrman and an astounding hip-hop dancer, Amy O’Neal, so magnetically creative on her feet that for a few minutes she manages to steal the focus away from Mr. Watts. JASON ZINOMAN
Hurrah! Please perform it here soon.