FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.dadsgarage.com/
By Liz and John Attaway
There is a sign in the heart of a big city that glitters against the night sky. It is notorious for its beautiful ballets and mesmerizing musicals. The town folk all hold it in the highest regard and visit it several times a year in all their finest; ladies in their ball gowns and gentlemen in their tuxes and top hats. Just think about pulling up in a Model-T and walking down the red carpet. Those days are gone but the nostalgia and the sign still stands, as glittering and prestigious as ever. Welcome to The Fabulous Fox Theatre. Juxtaposing the beauty and prestige is Dad’s Garage, an improv troupe that is irreverent and playful, while entertaining Atlanta without any of the pretense. That’s what made the Dad’s Garage & Friends event so interesting: East meets West, North meets South, Paula Abdul’s Opposites Attract. You catch the drift. Tonight, Dad’s Garage finds itself getting all dressed up, even “Schmancy”. Well played, Dad’s Garage, well played.
To go along with their new shiny shoes and bow ties, Dad’s Garage & Friends boasted many celebrity friends that Kevin Gillese, the Artistic Director of Dad’s Garage, said “you’ll never see this combination of actors again.” That’s what I call: #truth. Of those featured celebrities were Amber Nash and Lucky Yates who voice Pam and Krieger on the show Archer from FX. Followed by Fred Willard who has appeared on TV shows from Modern Family to Mad About You to Rosanne. Colin Mochrie, a frequent Dad’s Garage visiting actor, is from the original and CW reboot of Whose Line is it Anyway. Cedric Yarbough who portrayed Deputy S. Jones/Rufus from Reno 911. Gary Anthony Williams who wore a loud pink button down voices Uncle Ruckus on Adult Swim’s The Boondocks, and was recently seen in The Internship. Last but not least, there was also David Willis, who is the voice of Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force on Adult Swim.
Beyond the celebs was some very funny skits, sketches, songs, and modern dances. My favorite skit was the Atlanta Opera sings the skit that Mochrie described as, “the first opera with an NC-17 rating.” They took audience ideas like Frisbees, Batman and the Penguin conversation, and the invention of the Cotton Gin and incorporated them into a script that the Opera singers would put their spin on. It became naught quickly. Like the Batman and Penguin skit, it was like a duck with Tourette’s. Topics ranged from friends, lovers, flying, the devil (but spelled kdevil), and cotton. I laughed so hard I almost cried when the typos became rampant and the Opera Sings had to sing the words exactly as typed. The look on their faces was PRICELESS. Worth. Every. Penny.
Keeping with the Atlanta Opera, who was a partner for the night, was the Atlanta Opera sings Jaden Smith’s Tweets. Yes, Jaden Smith of Will Smith fame. The best ones were “Most Trees are Blue” and “Dying is mainstream #money.” The Atlanta Opera wasn’t the only ones singing as Yarborough and Williams took audience suggestions and were tasked with improving a song that incorporated the audience’s ideas. A young lady in the front named “Kat” gave them the suggestion of a giraffe. They sang about this giraffe to the tune of Reggae and the funniest, Gospel Hip Hop, totally made up for this event but one part choir, one part Kayne West (who was a guest host, kind of). It was a hoot.
Beyond the song shenanigans, as advertised, the Dad’s Garage troupe did their version of “Too Many Cooks” The Musical. Of course, it started with a very large family at home. Other elements that they blended into the musical was Coat, Smarf, the cat-like puppet that reminded us for Alf, and the machete wielding killer. In “Too Many Cooks” style, (SPOILER ALERT) the killer lops the head off of a bunch of the actors and ended with him standing among the dead. I think I’ve seen this before…
A few other tidbits that were amusing included Two Lies and a Truth, where Gary Anthony Williams had the best line saying that he tried to dig his way to the devil. Meatwad admitted that he got paid in tater tots (because let’s not lie, their awesome). The segment about 1-star reviews on Yelp for Atlanta Attractions included a scathing review of the beloved Clermont Lounge. The reviewer stated that it’s “a great place to get an incurable disease.” I would admit that I wouldn’t wear opened toed shoes or a long dress there. It may stick to the floor. Shudder. Finally, we got a treat with an exclusive improved Archer scene that was specially made for the event. Lucky Yates, who voices Krieger, and Amber Nash, who voices Pam both lent their voices and it was just like watching an actual Archer episode. Krieger must have really pissed off that big cat that kept attacking him. So fun.
With a few Hitler gabs and a literal choir, the Dad’s Garage and Friends came to a close. What an enjoyable night full of laughter and wonder. We’ve actually never been to an actual Dad’s Garage show, we’ll have to get out to a show and see what they do day-in and day-out to keep so many close friends (and good ones at that). Maybe once they take over that church in the Old Fourth Ward. Dad’s Garage has been around since 1995. They used to be located in Inman Park and have been displaced recently to perform at 7 Stages Theatre until their permanent home is finished. ANNOUNCEMENT: They will be opening on New Year’s Even 2015-16 in their new location! Cue the Choir.
Want to get out to The Fox Theatre? Here’s their web address to see upcoming shows and ticket information here: https://foxtheatre.org/