Last fall, I saw the irreverent off-off-Broadway show Blogologues, where a troupe of five actors tirelessly translated blog posts from beloved sites like Cracked and Gawker (as well as lesser-known blogs) to the stage. At the time, Lively ProductionsÂ was bringing audiences a new themed show once a month, but now that spring has hit, they’ve secured a four-week run of their new edition Blogologues: Younger Than Springtime.Â (Full disclosure: Since the fall, I’ve corresponded with Lively’s Co-Artistic Directors Jen Jamula and Allison Goldberg as a fellow theater artist and advised them on social media outreach. But I can still write an unbiased review.) The time that they took between Blogologues‘ last show a few months ago, as well as their extended run in a new venue, makes for a tighter, even funnier show that strikes a workable balance between the actors’ ingenuity in crafting characters out of blog posts and the original material itself.
As with their other shows, the Lively crew defines each season or holiday very loosely: This spring show includes a diatribe against a certain breed of birds called Blue Jays Are Fucking Insane, tweets about the weather and Easter/Passover, and a Cracked article titled An Apology to the Town That I Turned Into The Hunger Games. Unlike some of their shows which have dragged a little, the transitions between monologues were snappy and filled with hilarious entries from Texts From Last Night, When Parents Text, and other technology-horror sites. Highlights included the aforementioned Hunger GamesÂ post — with the troupe acting out wonderfully-accurate deaths from the movie –Â a horny Boy Scout bemoaning the fact that he would never be able to get laid outside, and a real-life message board where fourth-graders recount their spring breaks. There was even one touching skit, Happy Father’s Day, Mom, that had the audience pause in their laughter to appreciate the heartfelt sentiment.
But most of all,Â Blogologues: Younger Than SpringtimeÂ mercilessly mocks the absurd things you can find online, from a Regretsy post on “glingers” (knit gloveless fingers, modeled by Dave Thomas BrownÂ above) to the real Amazon profile for the book Confessions of a Sorority Girl: Spring Break Gangbang. In these interludes, it’s delightful to remember that these posts are performed verbatim.
As with the prior BlogologuesÂ shows, the Lively crew has layered their own interpretations of the bloggers onto their performances, adding flair with accents, costumes, and nonverbal gestures. In some cases these characterizations dilute the original posts’ humor; I found some performances edging on grating because it seemed as if the actors were trying to lump too many funny signifiers on the characters rather than letting the text speak for itself. One pitch-perfect moment, however, was the collection of Craigslist postings, where the performers brought each character to life while letting the utter “wtf”ness of the posts take center stage.
BlogologuesÂ is one of those shows where, no matter if you would rather seek out indie theater or troll Reddit, you will find at least one piece that speaks to you. The cast is just as smart and talented as the bloggers who created this content, and together they make a truly unique piece of interactive theater.
Blogologues: Younger Than SpringtimeÂ runs through May 5th at The Players Loft in New York City. The show runs Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. (bonus shows at 10 p.m. tonight and next Friday). You can buy tickets for $18, which gets you a free drink ticket. And if you can’t make it to the show, make sure you keep up with them on Twitter @Blog_ologues and on Tumblr.