This past Friday The Bay View Comedy Revue titillated audiences at The Alchemist Theatre with a one night only show featuring Milwaukee’s own underground comedy collective “The Caste of Killers”.
The entertainment began with light comedy and song by Alex Grindeland performing on a raised platform in the Bay View Lounge. This segment of the show set an easy, light-hearted tone for the rest of the night. It was a great chance to relax, sip some drinks, and enjoy the ambiance.
Liza Marie led the stand-up portion of the show. Channeling classic 90’s Janeane Garofalo, she brings a smart, female perspective to the stage. Young, cute, hip, and just this side of mainstream, she’s got loads of appeal that should spare her from having to work a stinking day job.
Easily the strongest comedian of the troupe, Ryan Lowe has his pathetically neurotic stage persona down to an art. His delivery alone can carry a joke, and at times it seemed like he was using puns and silly props just to gauge the reaction. Comedians like him are typical guests on the late-night talk show circuit. My guess is he’ll be off to Chicago then New York before long.
Jason Hillman fills his set enjoyably with snarky observational humor. Funny enough to keep the crowd engaged, he’s more SoCal than Midwest with his mellow stage presence and insouciant footwear (flip-flops!). He’s like a member of Seth Rogen’s circle of pals: Jewish, smart-alecky, and in all probability high.
By far the edgiest performer, Damon Millard pushes the envelope of taboo with his highly impolitic brand of humor. Though uproariously funny, the crowd needed reminding that “these are the jokes” as much of the humor is derived from offensive subject matter. While intolerable to a mainstream audience, and uneasy even for a crowd of Bay View bohemians, Millard’s demented routine builds to a hilarious crescendo with his “naked audience” bit. His was my favorite part of the show.
Stacy Pawlowski is the glue that holds the show together. She’s a natural host with a funny, outgoing, and engaging personality. After the feature performances it was back to the lounge where Stacy capped off the evening’s entertainment with some funny magic tricks and a skit.
On Friday, an audience of around twenty was amused by 6 performers for about 3 hours for the bargain basement price of 10 bucks. While I was feasting on underrated comic talent, the rest of Milwaukee were gorging themselves on whatever deep-fried calorie bomb the State Fair is featuring this year. The downside of Milwaukee’s entertainment bonanza is that sometimes good shows can go largely unnoticed.