"Portlandia" stars Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen offered a delightfully unpolished live show based on their IFC TV show Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Seattle's Showbox at the Market. The show offered a little bit of everything, including guest appearances by Dan Savage and Kyle MacLachlan.
Concert Review |
Um, excuse me: Is this show local?
Though lovable IFC sketch comedy show “Portlandia” is all about the quirky inhabitants of our neighbor to the south, co-creators Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen’s live performance Wednesday at the Showbox at the Market put Seattle in the spotlight. Our own quirky residents got plenty of time to shine, too.
“Portlandia: The Tour” was delightfully unpolished, offering a truly up-close-and-personal chance for fans in the completely sold-out crowd to interact with the show’s multitalented writer/performers.
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The live performance offered a little bit of everything: audience interaction, video clips, songs, sketches and two celebrity guests.
Actor and Yakima native Kyle MacLachlan (“Blue Velvet,” “Sex and the City”) affably reprised in person his Mayor of Portland “Portlandia” role. The Stranger editor and sex columnist Dan Savage joined for an audience Q&A about sex and relationships, with Brownstein and Armisen in wigs as the militant owners of a feminist bookstore — two “Portlandia” regulars.
That Q&A and another at the end brought out a host of awkward pseudo-questions: people offering episode ideas, promoting their own businesses or trying to find out which hotel Brownstein and Armisen were staying at.
Armisen and Brownstein responded with grace — and a few zingers, too.
Armisen, a 10-year “Saturday Night Live” vet, is remarkably quick. Brownstein is no improv slouch herself, and she had a knack for turning the jokes local — maybe not too hard, considering she grew up in Redmond. Together, their playful chemistry makes them incredibly likable, on screen and off.
Clips from the new, second season of the show, which starts Jan. 6, promise more smart, earnest satire.
The night ended with “A Song for Portland,” as Brownstein slipped wonderfully into serious, Sleater-Kinney-style growl-and-yelp musician mode. As the song wound down, Armisen and Brownstein led the audience in an ode to Seattle. The crowd sang out, with hometown pride.
Joanna Horowitz: firstname.lastname@example.org