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Pajama Men – Just the Two of Each of Us review

Thursday October 17 2013, Arts Theatre

By Michael Curle
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pajama men press 2013
pajama men press 2013

Pajama Men – Just the Two of Each of Us

4 out of 5 stars

With a string of awards to their name and sold out shows across the globe, American duo Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez, along with musical scene-setter Kevin Hume, are bringing their bare-bones performance style and absurd physical comedy back to the capital for what might be their best show yet.

The plot is a ridiculous hodgepodge in which a hapless king, Mark the Only, becomes immortal to save the world from a terrible beast that rises once every 700 years. Cartoon-like characters abound: two grizzled old Texan cops holler into a truth-telling sinkhole, valley girl Nadine struggles with a prosthetic arm, and then there’s Franz (a hilariously bug-eyed turn from Allen), whose biggest problem is that life’s too easy.

The show crackles with energy: scenes change on a dime and the story jumps forward and backwards in time. There are some hilarious one-liners too. In the form of deadpan puns or the kind of beautiful stoned logic perfected by Steven Wright and Mitch Hedberg (‘I don’t know whether my back is sore or the rest of me just feels really good’).

The pair perform everything themselves, from a souped-up motorcycle to a sensitive horse and a spider with infinity signs for eyes. There’s even a hilarious and uncanny depiction of one of those grab-a-toy claw arcade machines. Such is the prowess and invention of their comedic gymnastics that after five minutes you hardly notice the lack of props.

Basically, if you’ve ever dreamed of seeing two goofballs act out a scene in which a grieving wizard is comforted by a tactile horse, this is the show for you. As madcap and inventive as ever, Pajama Men are certainly not sleeping on their success. Chaplin would approve, I’m sure.

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