Regional Reviews: San Francisco
The Ken and Andy Show
Also see Richard's review of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
As part of their new Twist and Shout Festival, the New Conservatory Theatre Center is presenting what is loosely called a "metaphysical comedy," The Ken and Andy Show. This new age comedy is the brain child of Ken Taylor who has worked in many movies, including Men in Black and Baywatch, and Andy Barrett who has been writing, meditating and pondering the universe. Their prior appearance was at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada. If you liked the movie Dumb and Dumber or love the antics of Adam Sandler, Pauly Shore or Tom Greene, you'll probably dig these two performers. As for me, I did not laugh my metaphysical butt off. The two reminded me of frat boys high not only on booze but high on themselves. On the whole this is an amateurish 80 minutes with a few clever touches. The program seriously needs proper direction.
The Ken and Andy Show is a satire of Star Wars involving Moloch, a mega-maniac female who heads an evil force that wants to take over the world. Her idea is to combine all corporate mergers, religious evangelism and Internet shopping into one big conglomerate. Some of the satire is very keen, especially a scene involving the Yoda Council of the Astral Plane, which is a clever take off on the Star Wars Council scene. Some of the names of the mergers between corporations and religious groups are also very jocular, such as Microsoft and the Catholic Church becoming a giant conglomerate which produces a company called "PapalSoft." There are video segments, with an excellent comedy actor named Andrew Bancroft, separating each scene. These are arcane satires of the Saturday Night Live "news" show with an announcement urging people to buy more and more products with crazy and unusual names.
Ken Taylor plays Ken, who believes himself to be the cause of all events that occur in the world. He is completely self absorbed and his mind is mostly on sex. Andy, played by Andy Barrett, is completely from another planet. This gay, vegan, yoga-trained person runs around most of the time wearing only a green Speedo. He hones his body into an antenna that channels theatrical energy from the astral plane. He becomes completely infuriating by ending most of his sentences with the word "yes." Five other actors, including one named Vanessa Bitch Ass, join Ken and Andy in this show.
The Andy and Ken show will appeal to those twentysomethings, young dotcom-ers and people who appreciate this kind of collegiate humor. It might help if you are stoned. The show closed August 11. Confessions of a Mormon Boy plays in their other auditorium through August 25 and PINS opens on August 24th. My Dinner with Lunatique Fantastique also opens on August 21 in one of the three theatres at the NCTC. For tickets call 415-861-8972 or visit on line at www.nctcsf.org.