Two Funny Dudes Make us Laugh ( and almost cry)
I felt very privileged to be in the audience for Never Did It, the first shows of We Are Here, Intiman’s Festival of original works by Emerging Artists at 18th and Union. Never Did It was comprised of The Hummingbird by Chris Quilici and Just Do It Already by Ponch. aka Alfonso Campos Jr,
Going first, Quilici was the storyteller and Ponch was a stand-up comic. Both were extremely funny, but like all funny insightful articulate people, they conveyed that all comedy is merely a response to life’s tragedies. I also thought the nomenclature “emerging” was not quite right, as both seemed to be rather well developed in their respective craft.
Chris Qulici told a great story about his Nana, or grandmother, a woman of the early baby-boomer era, who had recently passed away. Her external experiences of life would be considered extremely tragic, unbelievable bad-health, an unfortunate marriage to a philanderer and poverty, but whose inner life was rich with joy, love and a commitment to community.
I was struck by how insightful Quilici was to the plight of a woman from a different generation; because in the 70’s and 80’s, in feminist literary circles, there was always a great debate as to whether any man could write accurately about any woman’s experience. Well, Quilici proved them all wrong, as he understood the limitations of her circumstances as a woman in that era, while getting to the very essence of what made this wonderful woman tick. His details about how Nana enriched the lives of everyone she encountered were particularly eloquent. His writing and delivery were full of understated wit and compassion for everybody, except his grandmother’s detestable husband, who nowadays would probably be hung, drawn and quartered by every feminist on the planet.
Ponch, a stand-up comedian, was extremely talented, particularly vocally as he was a master of different accents and voices, which ranged from a particularly engaging Latin American Spanish accent, to a brilliantly authentic “Seattle Stoner” drawl, as he drew on his life’s experiences. There seemed to be a lot of material as he came from a very Christian family, whose well-meaning attempts to get him to settle down with the right girl were met with evasion. His jokes about Seattle’s housing crisis, weather and traffic were right on the money.
Both Cuilici and Ponch are going places, so it would be wise to see them before they become stars.
Once again, 18th and Union has done it-produced a lively evening of entertainment in an intimate setting. Well Done!!
Never Did It will be repeated Friday Jan 18 at 9:30 and Feb 1 at 7:30 18th and Union.
1406-18th Ave 98122 (Central District corner of 18th and Union) Street Parking. Tickets https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/1003889
We Are Here, Intiman’s Festival of Original Works by Emerging Artists til Feb 2nd,