O.C.Y.C.'s Volume Two: Two Steps From Hip | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

O.C.Y.C.'s Volume Two: Two Steps From Hip 

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O.C.Y.C.'s VOLUME TWO: TWO STEPS FROM HIP, at the O Bar & Cafe. In his program bio Tim Grimes--who stars with Matthew Filipowicz in this two-person sketch-comedy revue--writes that he's "very turned on by TVs that are turned on." He needn't have told us: anyone who stumbles in from the street will gather as much from their extensive use of video before and during the show. Sometimes this use is inspired, as when a prerecorded on-screen performer plays the third person in a three-man sketch. But sometimes it's just video for video's sake, as when we're treated to a low-rent version of those annoying animated title sequences dancing around the beginnings of so many TV shows these days.

Unfortunately Grimes and Filipowicz--the show's writer-director--spend so much time playing with their technology that they neglect their material. Sandwiched between the cool video ideas are lots and lots of lame bits, like the Monty Python-esque absurdist dialogue, which gets on your nerves before it gets to a punch line, and the repeating sketch set at a Lollapalooza-style Christian-rock concert--funny once, tiresome the fourth time around. Even the fairly clever gimmick of pulling the show together with an ongoing movie parody, combining elements from slasher and Hong Kong action films, overstays its welcome.

If these guys ever figure out how to be both techno-savvy and funny, however, watch out. Until then, they'll remain much farther from hip than two steps.

--Jack Helbig

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