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Dorks on the Loose: Facey Facey Face Face The Baldacchino Gypsy Tent Bar – at Fort Fringe

Remaining Performances: Friday, July 24th @ 7 pm Saturday, July 25th @ 3:15 pm Sunday, July 26th @ 7 pm

They say:  Phaea and Becca don’t just have a face. They have two. And after last year’s Fringe success they are returning to celebrate with a new comedy show, Dorks on the Loose: Facey Facey Face Face. C’mon, you need a lift. 50 minutes

Chris says:   Laurel and Hardy.  Nichols and May.  Lemmon and Mathau.  Cheech and Chong.  Phaea and Becca.

It’s not simple matter to explain what makes a comedy duo work: personality, chemistry, timing, and intellect are merely the more obvious variables.   Loose dorks Phaea and Becca come off as an odd couple—one more conventionally tall and dorky, one at first glance too cute and cuddly for satire—but the chemistry is undeniable and the timing is spot on.  Imagine your young teenage daughter and her best friend finishing each other’s sentences, then fast forward 15 years.

Their comedy sketches have one foot in Dumb and Dumber dumbness, and one foot in brainy postmodern high jinks.  In the first sketch, Phaea and Becca are a ballerina and her instructor, each unable to stop making silly faces when they concentrate.  In the next, they’re hammy wedding planners strutting to demonstrate how not to walk as a bride.  Those and other sketches are silly for the joy of silliness.   Others could be riffs on Gödel, Escher, Bach: In an Oprah or Ellen style interview, they interview each other about the interview they’re having, asking at one point, “What are some of your favorite memories of this interview?”  It’s riotous, but it’s highbrow.

It’s amazing how much mileage they get out of saying all the same things at pretty much the same time.  In one sketch, two teenage girls scream giddily in response to everything one of them says.  They open the imaginary door.  “Are you a Mormon?”    “Are you a Mormon?”   (Squeals.)  “Are you Mitt Romney?” “Are you Mitt Romney?”  (Squeals.)   If they had poor timing this would be unbearable, but they have great timing and it’s a joy.

The act is confident without being polished.  It’s not improv, but they roll with the punches when they realize they’ve come out with the wrong prop, when one of them slips on the wet stage (there was a tremendous torrent outside the tent during the performance I saw), or when the Bachelorette Helper Robot has a cold cream malfunction.  They’re having fun and getting a kick out of themselves.

See it if:  You like the idea of SNL but wish it were funny.

Skip it if:   The idea of sitting in a tent  while drinking beer laughing turns you off.