The Cody Rivers Show: A Poke in the Wound
by Lindy West
Whatever you were planning to do this weekend (Are We Done Yet? Habitat for Humanity? Grandmother’s funeral?), just skip it. The Cody Rivers Show is better.
The sketch comedy duo of Mike Mathieu and Andrew Connor creates and performs intellectual, blazing-fast, highly conceptual theater that’s so bizarre and charming and unselfconscious that you can’t quite comprehend what you’re looking at. Like a baby giraffe. Like a baby giraffe wearing a monocle and giving you a high-five.
Their current show, A Poke in the Wound, careens from a circular collegiate lecture on child safety (“Here is a chart of Things the World has Been Over Time; as you can see, ‘safe’ isn’t even on there”) to grave errors in judgment (“That’s not a piano, it’s an electric fence!”) to sheepish self-disclosures (“I don’t have a car˜I am a car; I can change my body into a car, and I do sometimes”).
Cody Rivers is brilliant, but refreshingly free of self-referential back patting. It happens, it’s over, they hug, they bow. It’s the kind of thing that you can’t imagine written down on a piece of paper. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to go home and create something yourself. Go to Cody Rivers this weekend. Go to it twice.
Poke closes with a musical number (a sort of square-dancey ditty about disillusioned beasts, which turns cute then hysterical then poignant) that caused me to scribble in my notes: “This is the best thing I have ever seen in my entire life.” That has never happened before. I hope it happens again.