Former Buffoons member shows no fear of playing
the fool in solo showcase.
Birds,” Eugene Cordero’s short (25-minute) solo show, seen at the UCB
Theatre June 17, is a showcase for his versatility and range of
characters -- all a little hapless in one way or another.
The character choices in “Weird Birds” aren’t as strong and surprising
as Cordero has made in previously seen improv shows and with the sketch
comedy trio Buffoons (with Bobby Moynihan and Charlie Sanders). But the
show contains at least one highlight -- Cordero’s character, the Amazing
Edmond, a drunken magician who mumbles and bumbles his way through a few
rudimentary tricks, at one point becoming so exasperated that he starts
explaining a trick he just did. The key is Edmond’s talking to his
audience the same way a garrulous drunk in a bar might.
“Weird Birds” is built around the concept of an open mike night, with
Cordero playing all the different acts who are appearing. He introduces
the evening with a little light stand-up material like an open mike host
might, then switches to appearing in video clips, out of necessity, so
he can introduce his various personas that he changes into while the
clips play. It’s a little awkward, but there isn’t any other obvious way
to do this.
Cordero’s show works as opener for more involved or strident pieces,
like the one it was paired with this night, Sanders’ “Minnesota Muslim”
(see review, 11/15/08). It’s
not clear what Cordero could do to approach the higher energy and edge
of a piece like that, but not being an artist, it’s hard to imagine.