Coming back and ready to bash12/24/2014
“Bash to the Future”
At the Des Moines Social Club, the New Year’s “Bash” has always included performance. A few years back I caught “Jerry Springer: the Opera,” a StageWest production, and last year the party featured the aerial ballet of the Iowa Fly Girl, Felicia Coe.
What’s new, then, for the final hours of 2014?
This year, Coe will again provide a “human ball drop” at midnight, but she’ll work in tandem. She promises “an innovative, custom double drop.” Earlier in the evening, she and her fellow Fly-Girl will premiere what they’re calling a “duo aerial silks performance,” one that “incorporates the night’s theme.”
That theme is “Bash to the Future,” and as the title suggests, it looks ahead — but also backwards. Partygoers are asked to “explore” not only where Des Moines might be 50 years from now in 2065, but also where it was in 1965. Costumes and role-play are encouraged.
The same spirit will figure in the interactive art installations. Whatever Trey Reis and Nick Williams do, for instance, will have an edge, like the mashups they post on “Warm Gospel,” their Tumblr page.
The most remarkable new twist, however, will be the standup comedy. Between music sets, Andrew Lopez will take the stage, trying to make folks laugh.
“Who knows, man?” asks Lopez, cheerfully. “Fingers crossed.”
Lopez has a similar devil-may-care approach in 2011 when he entered Iowa State’s competition, “VEISHA Says I’m Funny.” He’d never done standup, but he aced it nonetheless, and as soon as he was through school, he took off for Los Angeles. Two years later, he finds himself both a featured performer at major venues like The Comedy Store and writing — or “storyboarding” — on film projects for Seth Rogan.
“It’s been a crazy fast transition,” Lopez admits. “Especially for an Asian kid with a Mexican name who grew up with white kids in Pella.”
Not that Lopez makes use of his All-American mix onstage.
“I don’t do comedy about race or background, really,” he says. “I’m more into riffing off the audience, working with what’s happening that night.”
He’s bringing this same freewheeling approach back home with him. Lopez has never been to the Bash or the Social Club in general, but he happily declared, “I’m gonna wing it!” On top of that, he intends to “sabotage” the program.
“I’m coming in with three other super-funny guys, all born in the Midwest,” he said.
They, too, are “doing really well” in L.A., one writing for Jimmy Fallon, and each is “excited” to be coming home.
“It just smells better here,” he says. “It gets you back to who you really are.”
Back and ready to Bash.
Overheard in the Lobby: On Saturday Dec. 27, catch “O Holey Tights” at the Vaudeville Mews featuring the Iowa School of Burlesque.
John Domini is a published local author who has lived on both coasts and abroad and enjoyed theater everywhere. See www.johndomini.com.