The Encyclopedia Show is a monthly co-production from SlamMN!'s Allison Broeren and Brave New Workshop's longtime cleanup hitter Mike Fotis. Each installment features an encyclopedia entry, such as "bears" or "explosives," as its jumping off point. Audience members submit specific subtopics, which are then assigned to artists in various disciplines to dissect, analyze, and make as hilarious/poetic/melodic/absurd as they see fit. "Mike and I talked about our love for weird cross-genre stuff, and thought we should team up and give it a whirl," says Broeren. Past shows have included poetry, improv, standup, erotic bluegrass, storytelling, live painting, and mascot dancing. Typically, specificity and topical focus give rise to variety in a raucous mash-up of fact and fantasy. Overseeing the entire spectacle is the "Fact-Checker," an individual authorized by the (fictional) Institute of Human Knowledge and Hygiene to pass judgment on the artists' fidelity to the truth. The show's unique process and emphasis on new work inevitably nudges its participants slightly off balance, but Fotis and Broeren shine as cheery hosts with the professional chops necessary to keep the train on the tracks. And then, there's mascot dancing. The format is so popular that there are shows in cities across the country, from San Francisco to Providence, and around the world in places like Seoul and Scotland. This May, the evening moves to its new home in the Titanic Room of Kieran's Irish Pub.
Third Sunday of every month, 7:30 p.m. Starts: May 20. Continues through June 17, 2012