"I have two degrees in music," says Mary Mack. "So that's why I do comedy. My bachelor's is in music performance with clarinet, and my master's is in conducting." For a time, she actually put her degrees to use: "I taught music. I liked the kids, but I didn't like dealing with the grownups." That's an interesting comment from a woman who sounds young. Very young. "You're probably saying, 'She sounds like a five-year-old,'" Mack teases her audience, "but she's got the body of a fourth-grader." Yet her diminutive stature and Lisa Simpson-esque voice just add to her charm. Indeed, her ability to talk to audiences is what took her from being a full-time musician into comedy. That, and the fact that the polka band she used to play in down in Tennessee was just awful. "I had to talk a lot in between the songs, and after a while the audience members were like, 'We really like the talking better than the songs.' So, I thought, 'Maybe I should just do that,' and all of a sudden I was doing comedy." Mack now splits her time between Minneapolis and Los Angeles. She still plays music during her set, but the amount varies from show to show. "If the audience is enjoying the talking I just keep talking, and if I get bored I play a song."
June 3-7, 8 p.m.; June 6-7, 10:30 p.m., 2008