Rubber Chicken is still cooking


So a theater company clucked onto the local arts scene eight years ago and continues to create local laughs today. Rubber Chicken Theater is its name and holiday sketch comedy is its game. Full disclosure: I’m one of the founders. (Just in case you couldn’t tell from the name of this column and/or the photo that accompanies it.)

One of the mainstays of Rubber Chicken’s season has been the holiday comedy revue. Every December, we look back and poke some fun at local and regional issues that have been in the news. We’re the only arts organization north of the Twin Cities that makes this type of original theater a part of its season, a fact of which I am extremely proud. I am also proud of the fact that I have been a part of revues with Rubber Chicken (as well as other theater companies that used to do them) every year since 1987.

Except this year. This year, I am not writing, directing or performing.

You see, my daughter is a freshman in college and she’s attending a school that’s far enough away so she’s not embarrassed by me … in person … (Thanks, Facebook!) … but not so far away that my wife and I can’t get to her if she needs us. Or forgets to answer a text. Either way, we can easily hop in the truck and show up. But not if I’m working on a show. If you’re in rehearsal, your life gets devoured. You’re constantly scouring the Duluth News Tribune for material. When you find something, you chain yourself to the computer and write a rough draft of a sketch with “jokes,” which you then rehearse and sweat and move your way through until the quotation marks melt away and you’re left with actual jokes. Once all that is complete, you need to do it 25 more times so you have enough material for a show. Ladies and gentlemen, I did this for nearly 30 years. My face was beginning to have a permanent mug etched into the wrinkles.

But this year, I am excited to welcome a new group of fabulously talented individuals who have taken on the holiday revue mantle for Rubber Chicken Theater. They’re calling this year’s show “The Cursed Nobel, or, I Saw Dylan Dissing Santa Claus” and it’s going to be as silly as it sounds. Head to Fitger’s and see for yourself! Dec. 9-10, 16-17, 23, 30-31 at 7:30 p.m., or try the New Year’s Eve matinee at 2 p.m.

As you can see, I may no longer be creating sketch comedy, but I’m still promoting it. It’s literally the least I can do.

And I love it.

This year’s revue also features two-for-one ticket deals for any and all Nobel Prize winners.

Written by Brian