I went to The Friendly Rich Show for the first time last night, and my mind capsized completely. I’d seen Friendly Rich & The Lollipop People before, but never as their full-on, prank-calling, burlesque-puppeting avant-cabaret show.
The Lollipop People are incredibly tight as a band, which must be hard when you’ve got a harpsichord, a bassoon, a full concert harp, and a banjo (binga-banga in Rich-speak) in the mix. I put it down to skilled musicians having fun, and Rich’s excellent direction.
The show is run by Soot, the almost wordless but entirely malicious stage manager. He grumbles his way from musical number, to animal trick show, to song, to prank call. Last night’s call was to order pizza from Pizza Pizza, and they didn’t take it too well. Nichol S. Robertson did indeed climb through a tennis racquet.
Last night’sÂ show was a little different, in that they performed Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition (complete with Hammond and turntables). What was a lot more different was, while they were playing, a naked man in a wild man mask set fire to his, um, self. That’s gotta smart.
They’re playing again at the Tranzac on the last Friday of June. You should be there. It’s exactly like nothing else!