Vulnerably Vulgar

Mary Van Note looks as if she shouldn't have taken the stage. She's too nervous to move or even breathe much. She clutches the microphone with both hands. She looks mostly downward as she stammers into her lines, in this case, an (alleged) letter from her lifelong obsession, Gavin Newsom: “Dear Mary. Listen to me. I am completely enamored with you. I'm leaving my fiance because she's a whore, and I totally love you. Forever, forever, love forever more. Your Gavin.” Not easy to make such things work, but she holds the room. And she knows she's holding the room. And you know she knows you know she's holding the room. Van Note is a perfect paradox: self-confidence disguised as self-effacement. We like her so much we gave her a Mastermind Grant in February so she could build on her standup material (including this homage to her IFC.com series, “Gavin Really Wants Me”) and develop a solo performance. Tonight she brings the results, What I Hid During Nap Time, to Solo Sundays. Director Bruce Pachtman says Van Note illustrates what he seeks in a performer: “Things come out of her mouth that no one could have anticipated.” On the bill is also Samantha Chanse and Back to the Graveyard. According to Chanse, Graveyard explores “the joys and perils of family dinner planning, bad art, drinking in public, and, of course, flesh-eating monsters.” Of course.
Sun., Dec. 12, 7 p.m., 2010

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