For the six straight year, the local comedy production company IdRatherBeHere returns to the Fringe Festival with yet another installment of their hit Philly-centric sketch comedy series Wawapalooza. Since the show receives rave reviews each year, and I’m such a big local comedy fan, I was pretty pumped to finally see it.
That said, allow me to cut right to the chase: Wawapalooza 6: The Great Almost was one of the most excruciating hours of live comedy I’ve ever endured.
It was literally just trite joke after trite joke after trite joke. For example, in the opening sketch (“Iggles Support Group”), one “insane Eagles fan” admits that she cut herself the other day only to realize she doesn’t actually bleed green. In another sketch, a group of hipsters from NoLibs confront their friend, who they suspect might be secretly be a Republican even though, like any hipster, he shops at Whole Foods, wears black-framed glasses and has a beard.
To make matters worst, the writing completely reeked of hetero white male (“I know more about periods than any man should. But when I talk about pooping they think its gross.”)
I really didn’t want to be one of those assholes who goes to a comedy show only to sit there stone-faced the entire time, so I tried to remain as receptive as I possibly could. But considering the really great original material local sketch troupes like Camp Woods and ManiPedi are producing, it was impossible to muster up anything more than a few faint chuckles.
Since everyone around me seemed to be pissing their pants, ultimately I’m left to conclude that the show is really only targeting people who a.) don’t see a lot of live comedy and b.) will laugh at anything with the word Wawa in the title.
Fri/21, 8pm. Sat/22, 6pm & 8pm. $15. Society Hill Playhouse, 507 S. Eighth St. 215.923.0210. societyhillplayhouse.org