“If you want something intelligent, this isn’t it,” said Chase Brantley, owner of the Moonlight Theater Company, as he introduced the 14-time internationally award-winning writer and performer Michael Burgos on Nov. 7-8.
Burgos performed his hour-long comedy show, “Tiramisù” for an Athens audience which centered on the humor of traveling to Italy. With acts about the Venecian canals, pickpocketing and pesky bus tours, Burgos created a way for the audience to feel as if they had made the trek to Rome themselves. The theater’s intimate seating allowed Burgos to fully interact with most of the audience, handing out props and getting in the faces of those that filled the room with laughter. Burgos, who was the winner of the Best Solo Performance of the 2019 Boulder Fringe Festival, was able to use improv to work off of the audience’s energy. Even when his props were nowhere to be found, his ad libs kept the attention on the silliness of Italian citizens.
Burgos opened his show with an awkward peeping presence which had the audience giggling as he simulated the Rome airport.
His intense knowledge of Italy begged the question of how he had known so much about it, but his immense satire on the subject said a good bit on his opinion of Italians and their culture.
Playing on the stereotypes of Mario and Luigi, Burgos displayed an interactive video game act that proved to be a crowd favorite.
“One coffee Luigi. Coming right up, Mario,” Burgos said as he jumped and ran across the stage as if in an imaginary video game.
He also found a way to play off of the pizza-lover stereotype, throwing a frozen cheese pizza at the crowd as a part of a pizzeria skit.
Even his mishaps had the crowd howling, as shreds of mozzarella and chunks of tomato splattered across the walls and floor.
His pope skit featured cheap wine and whole wheat crackers as “sacramental bread” which made the audience laugh.
Burgos mastered the craft of awkward situations with his rendition of Julius Caesar, using fake breasts and his own butt to impersonate the characters. While unfit for a formal society, Burgos created a childish getaway for adults to just have fun.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the whole act was his performance of original songs which showcased his musical theater background and talent.
“This is a really silly just way to play, just to have fun in this beautiful space,” Burgos said as he bowed in front of the audience.
With Brantley’s advice, this show is surely not meant to appease any geniuses, but rather is a way to escape to an Italian playground in the heart of Athens.