A Comedy Show by Chad Weaver
The Rialto Theatre-Akron, Ohio-December 17, 2016- 8PM-The cast: Lizzie Milhoan (Mom/God), Bob Seeholzer (Robe-Bot/Mover, Mike Strenk (Ghost of Chad Future), Jasmyn Carter (stand-up), Jeremy Sheer (former UA President Scott Scarborough), Chris Clem (Clemagher/Macho Man), James Earl Brassfield (Mover/ Barack Obama), Walter Hemmelgarn (mover), Ryne DiPerna (Cardboard Chad/Mover boss), Jimmie Graham (voice of basketball), Lia Pietrolungo (voice of lady), Wilson Rivera (Voice of spaghetti dad)/mover), Natalie Grace Martin (musician), Alex Hirz (Paul Appleby)
Comedy waits for no one. For example, just a few hours prior to this show comedian Chad Weaver graduated from the University of Akron. By 9 PM, he was at the club carving out a future for himself.
“What’s cooking, good looking?”
The show opened with a video about Chad’s graduation day. It showed him getting out of bed, running across campus, and taking a live pratfall as he walked across the stage to receive his diploma. It closed with him running up to the Rialto Theatre. He entered the auditorium inexplicably carrying an armful of pots and pans that he kept dropping.
He then segued into a set of standup. He buzzed through material about George W. Bush, 9/11, being from the “streets,” what to do with an English degree, working at a public library, and losing his virginity with an…erm…wooden stool.
Chad’s “parents” interrupted his set. He stepfather (Bob Seeholzer) was a robot with a cardboard box head. The mother (Lizzie Milhoan) was called away so Chad and his robo-stepfather were left alone to talk. It’s revealed that Chad’s biological father was a plate of spaghetti that he accidentally ate, killing him. Chad said that he went to school because he was “supposed” to but he doesn’t feel like he has a purpose. His stepfather began to cry, short-circuited, and died.
Before Chad can react, the “Ghost of Future Chad” (Mike Strenk) storms the stage. Chad asks Future Chad from when in the future is he from?
Future Chad: “March.”
Future Chad zips through a list of predictions that current Chad can expect to happen in the ensuing months.
This was followed by a skit with Chad, Cardboard Chad (Ryne DiPerna), James Earl Brassfield, and Jimmie Graham.
Jasmyn Carter was up next to perform a set of standup. She, too, graduated that weekend, however, she got the date of the ceremony wrong and missed it. She compared college to a bad relationship that she had a “two-year degree” with.
“Snap into a Slim Jim”
Enter: Pro wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage (Chris Clem) to call out deposed University of Akron president Scott Scarborough (Jeremy Sheer). Scarborough pulled a knife on Savage. Savage retaliated with a low-blow and a flying elbow off the stage. He carried the disgraced administrator to the dressing room.
“Faster than we thought we’d go, beneath the sound of hope”
Singer Natalie Grace Martin performed haunting covers of “1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins and “Dream” by The Cranberries. Martin’s vocals are haunting and melodic. They are reminiscent of D.A. Wallach, formerly of indie pop darlings Chester French. Her covers are passionate and dramatic and different enough from the source material that they are most definitely her own. (Check out a performance of “1979” from November here.)
Next up was Chris Clem as “Clemagher” screaming about “liberal pussies” and smashing fruit-flavored candy in a hilarious send-up of prop comedian Gallagher.
“I’m gonna fuck here…and here…and here…”
Weaver will soon be moving in with fellow comedian Eric Brewer. The two shot a video tour of Brewer’s how. Chad pointed out all the locations in Brewer’s house that he will be having sex. Brewer and Weaver have great chemistry together. It was a funny production piece.
The next skit involved Brassfield, Walter Hemmelgarn, Ryne DiPerna, Wilson Rivera, Bob Seeholzer, and Jimmie Graham. It was about the Physical Comedy Moving Co. Instead of moving items safely, they drop them for laughs.
Chad then introduced his “cousin” Chad Appleby (Alex Hirz), who delivered a corny, stereotypical uplifting high school valedictorian speech. Hirz played it perfectly and got a big reaction from the audience.
Things are looking bad for Chad
A video montage screens of Chad as he goes on a panty raid, is in the same room while his roommate has sex, see his girlfriend (the stool) cheating on him, visits his father’s grave, his friend’s dog him out, and as he gets beat up by some bullies (little kids).
He takes the stage crestfallen.
Father and Son Talk
Chad gets a phone call from God and the ghost of his plate of spaghetti father. Hid dad tells him that he isn’t upset that Chad accidentally ate him. He advised him to make his own future. He told him not to follow in anyone’s footsteps and to make his own future. He encouraged him to things, even if they are weird or dumb. He wants him to go after his goals even if he is scared. He will fail a lot along the way but that is ok.
Chad becomes inspired and fired up. Another video plays. It shows him getting revenge on everyone from the previous video.
The show closes as he invites the cast on stage.
Pomp & Circumstance
This was a departure from the normal format of a Thrill or be Thrilled show. Chad revealed that he had less than a week to write and rehearse it due to finals and graduation.The show had a beginning, middle, and end. While unorthodox, it told the story of Chad processing his graduation. He admitted that he is nervous and scared but also excited by what the future holds. He realizes that there is no one sure way to make it in comedy. It will be hard and he will often fail. At the same time, he isn’t afraid to blaze his own path and take chances.
I gotta say, there was something so smart and joyful about the closing moments of this show. It’s exciting to see someone chase their dream. I can’t wait to see what happens next.