Odds N’ Friends members perform in their variety show, Totally Recalled, on Monday at Hungry Brain.
Seen Monday night at Hungry Brain: a bare ass, a life-size Arnold Schwarzenegger puppet, and a video montage set to Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” (in which “let the bodies hit the floor” loops endlessly). These elements were all part of Totally Recalled, a comedy show performed by Odds N’ Friends, the ever-changing collective of performance artists started by Aaron Maier, one of the founders of the website Everything Is Terrible!, and local puppeteer David Krofta.
Each month, the group picks a theme and performs on the first Monday at Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont Ave. Monday’s 100-minute show, a reinterpretation of the 1990 cult classic film Total Recall (the remake is in theaters now), was the group’s most ambitious yet—featuring 27 contributing artists and including 30 scenes of live music, dancing, puppetry, and stand-up. The effort paid off: More than 100 people were in attendance, and friends and family of the cast were being turned away 15 minutes before the show.
Odds N’ Friends’s next show is Reptilian Agenda Revealed, titled partially after the films of conspiracy theorist David Icke. Maier says the show will “celebrate the history and myth of our interstellar shape-shifting reptilian overlords and ancient life-givers through video art, music, and live performance.” Sounds awesome.
What else can you expect come September 3?
+ Hilarious videos from Everything is Terrible! (Warning: if you are not a fan of silly humor derived from old VCR tapes, you may not enjoy the show as much as I did.)
+ Your participation. The shows thrive off the audience’s reactions and involvement. At Totally Recalled, for example, there were a couple dances that snaked through the crowd.
+ A slight air of B.O. that I’ll chalk up to the crew’s hard work in a tight space.
+ Your generous support. The shows are a labor of love. Each one loses money, according to Krofta, but Odds N’ Friends perform because they are passionate about comedy. Look for donation baskets passed around during the performance.
+ Good beers and a retro vibe that matches the show’s. No wonder we named Hungry Brain one of the 100 best in Chicago.
Photograph: André Pérez