Maria Bamford | Lakeshore Theater | Stand-Up | Chicago Reader
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Like a lot of comics, baby-voiced Maria Bamford finds laughs in the juxtaposition of innocence and adult neuroses. What makes her act original, and sometimes explosively funny, are the characters she inhabits to explore that juxtaposition--including a high school nemesis, a therapist (pronounced "the rapist"), a pterodactyl, and an Australian sea cow. Like Amy Sedaris, whom she also physically resembles, Bamford seems to prefer being someone else--someone with a clear and simple identity--onstage, and jumps abruptly in and out of roles for comic effect. Sometimes she prepares the audience for the switch, though, as when she settles into the uncensored tongue of her highly domestic Minnesotan mother, a favorite target. When Bamford refuses to tell her dad that mom wants him to pick up a tube of Vagisil from the store, the old lady advises, "Honey, just say mom wants ya to pick up the rug cleaner." --Ryan Hubbard



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