Quick Takes: Kelly Anneken's Lack of Variety Hour

I'd be remiss if I gave some half-assed cockamamy review based on seeing one show, especially in the short amount of time afforded by my lunch break. And you probably already have Friday plans (being it's Friday and all) but for next time, for next time! 

Neurotic prefaces aside, here are some firsthand observations that I has me excited about Kelly Anneken's Lack of Variety Hour:

– The Octopus Literary Salon is homey a f: Octopus is an Uptown Oakland cafe with hella books (new, used), and a little wine and beer thrown in. Casual, comfortable seating. It felt like Kelly convinced their rich friend with a loft to let them do a comedy show. 

– Kelly Anneken's A Tremendous Writer: Duh. She's won awards for her sketch writing, has been featured on Boing Boing, and co-edited the periodical Hobo Pancakes. What inspiring about The Lack of Variety, is how untrue that moniker is. The full gamut of Kelly's skill was showcased: from the shade, to the salt, to the wordplay, to the tongue in cheek aggrandizing, to the muttering self awareness. No other show will have an abridged retelling of Valley of the Doll (I could keep up, but had no idea what was going on), a business pitch, a heartfelt story about her marriage, and utter umbrage about attending others' "big day". Kelly has a lot of space to operate, a lot of ground to cover and ample ability to maximize her wonderful brain.

– (Really) Special Guest: Kelly has great taste in those who get laughs (especially, those who get laughs in a congruent way to their own). Last month featured Natasha Muse, this month is bringing Karinda Dobbins, both are absolute favorites (apart of the "cool mom club"). A 10-15 minute set from one of the Bay's best—and soothing—comedians, is a welcomed treat for someone that's increasingly agoraphobic and cheap. 

- It's A Work In Progress: And not in that lazy way that everyone's a work in progress, in their life, in their art, in their state of decay. Kelly's show MOVES, it LINGERED, it's an embodiment of a person, someone that's emotionally three-dimensional, fascinating and talented. It's a brain-portal, a gateway, a diary, a constantly evolving way to connect to a person, intimately, over good chunk of time on a monthly basis. It's like the podcast pathos and monologist logos flipped on its ear by someone with the vision to build their artistic nest. I always advocate for artists to create the one project others "can't take away". You'll usually be defined by said project; it may take you where you want to go. This project may be seen as a recognizable vision, a digestible package for"da business" to incorporate, as well as being, potentially, the cornerstone of one's passion. Kelly informed me that she didn't want to always perform in the rigid ways stand-up and sketch demand: so she's not, and in that "not", IT'S GREAT!

Fun Fact: It's Kelly's Birthday! Her parties are epic. If you can go to this one, GO TO THIS ONE!

Kelly Anneken's Lack of Variety Hour. Every Second Friday at Octopus Literary Salon. 7pm.