Reggie Watts: Brilliantly Funny, Socially Profound, and Highly Listenable
Last night the Light Box, Miami Light Project's new intimate theater space at Goldman Warehouse in Wynwood, popped it's cherry with an hour and a half of delightful ridiculousness care of comedian/musician/acid-flash-back-inducer Reggie Watts. And what exactly is a Reggie Watts?
He's hard to define (so read our Q&A with him and watch this video primer). Think an improvised comedic musician with a penchant for bad Christmas sweaters who creates brilliantly funny, socially profound, and highly listenable tunes with the aid of a keyboard, a loop pedal, and off the cuff lyrics like "it gets easier when it gets hard, it gets harder when it gets soft" or, if the mood strikes him, will mutter jibberish in Spanish for a minute straight and then end the incoherent rant with "I dunno...chicken?"
Much like Andy Kaufman, you're not sure what to make of him, but much like cocaine, about a minute in, you know you want more.
And although Watts - who donned a white T-shirt, black
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suspenders, and his signature Sideshow Bob fro for the Light Box's
inaugural show - said he wasn't the biggest fan of blow ("I did coke
once. It was like drinking five cups of coffee. Everyone said, you'll
talk a lot, get so many ideas, but I didn't get any ideas and I was
worried about my nasal cavity"), he confessed that he was a fan of pot.
"Montana was a great place to grow up," Watts said fondly of his
childhood home, "but we had really shitty drugs and I like to tell that
to people in Miami because you have good drugs."
proceeded to tell the audience about the third time he smoked pot, which
was the first time he actually got high. (Although considering this came from a man who fades in and out of accents, we're not too sure any of it was actually true.)
The sweet coming-of-age tale
includes him smoking from a huge bong in a motel room at 18, lying
between a beautiful Costa Rican "woman teenager" and an elfish-looking
girl with long, blond cotton candy hair who sucked on both of his index
He then spoke about walking the beautiful Costa Rican woman
teenager to her car, having his first French kiss, "feeling the texture
of her taste buds", and then concluding immediately afterwards that he
knew at that moment that he loved weed. He then parlayed that story into
a song about marijuana, which was more a song about race, and why
certain ethnicities have certain characteristics, and how there's so
many Asians in Miami.
Other songs done on the fly included a piano power ballad sang
passionately and completely mute, harmonizing with recordings of himself
and weird voice-produced beats that sounded like Bushman-speak, robot
moves, and an astute song about society's dependence on pointless
He improvised and called out someone sitting in the front row
(coughcoughMairafromYelpcough) using her cellphone during his
performance, singing slickly "why do people have to text about something
happening right in front of them? Why don't they just watch what's
going on right in front of them?" and then casually continued to sing about
how people born in 1997 and 2001 know how to use a touch screen but
forget how to use a knife.
There was also an ongoing joke about how witches, demon, goblins, and
hobgoblins really do exist, live in your closet, peel off your face skin
while you sleep, and use it as currency in another reality (which he said was due to the Miami Darkness Project)...but we'll
just end things now and let you get back to waving your fingers in front
of your face to see if you see any trails. Because God knows after
reading this review, you feel like you just downed some 'shrooms.
Watts has a second performance tonight at 8 p.m. at the Goldman warehouse's Light Box Theater (404 NW 26th St., Miami). Tickets cost $15. Visit miamilightproject.com.
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