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Tom Lenk's Portland show

Just got in from Tom Lenk's one-man show at the Armory. Because my sister works there, and it looked like they might not fill the house, she got me in for free--then suddenly late today the place sold out. So I ended up "working" by taking bottles of water to the star. Hee! Water-girl.

He shook my hand, asked my name, and acknowledged my "I'm a fan of yours" with some kind of nice remark and Real Live Eye Contact, and I got to sit in the usher seat and observe his sound and light check.

From what I can gather, his show is still evolving. In its broad outlines, it's a reminiscence about the time he spent working on Broadway in "Rock of Ages", liberally laced with improvised songs, impromptu drawings (done by him, and by audience members), photographs, and what you might call "gently X-rated" gay sex stories. It ran a bit long, but he was having a great time up there, and stayed afterwards for pictures, autographs and conversations--he really seemed to want to interact with people.

He's funny and casual, and the vast majority of his storytelling was personal--wildly gross in a couple of spots, and a bit sad or dark in places, but neither political nor bitchy. There's a running theme about his resemblance to an elf or hobbit, culminating in a very funny bit about his German ancestors.

The show was loosely structured, and he was at his best just winging it from props and an outline. I laughed a lot--like, sore-face a lot--and came away with that good endorphin-y feeling.

The audience here is perfect for this kind of show--geeky to the max, liberal, and sophisticated-ish without being jaded--so the crowd was noisy in its appreciation, and made for a good dynamic with the performer.

I don't see a big tour schedule, but he'll in Toronto in September, and if you get a chance to see him, it's a fun evening out with one of the favorites from the Whedonverse.

ETA: You can request your city as a tour location. Thanks, anonymous commenter!

And there's this whole story about a sexual aid product that was pretty much worth the price of admission all by itself...

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