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BEST THEATER FOR COMEDY Minneapolis 2007 - Brave New Workshop

It finally happened. In See Dick Shoot, a night of sketch comedy loosely based on our light-hearted jokester of a vice president, BNW artistic director Caleb McEwen's head exploded. Sure, he was playing a spelling bee competitor hopped up on steroids, but we knew the folly of the world was going to make his cranium pop open one of these days. If the BNW is taken for granted here in town, it's the victim of its own consistency. For those who make its cozy confines a regular stop, it's a night that guarantees smart laughs from a crack rotating cast. (We're partial to the panic-prone Mike Fotis, the twisted Joe Bozic, and the clearly mad Lauren Anderson.) Probably the troupe's best show was Saturday Night FEMA, which somehow managed to extract laughs while offering a clear-eyed denunciation of the government's response to Hurricane Katrina. While every show has a theme, each is actually a series of sketches and songs that always seems filled with promise—in other words, if the one you're watching is a stinker, there's another one right around the bend. Much credit goes to McEwen, who's never encountered an idiocy he can't scorn. If the Guthrie is the aircraft carrier on the waters of local theater, BNW is its resilient tugboat—with a pirate flag bearing a defiantly raised middle finger.
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