Ever try to describe a dream to someone?
Maybe you just had the most fascinating, exhilarating, deliriously fun dream that took you places you never knew existed (because they don’t), and you so badly want to share that experience with someone else. That someone else will never understand, will they?
“I was riding on a unicorn in China, but like on a giant map where it actually said China under the feet of the unicorn, which feet were covered in rainbow feathers for some reason, and then this voluptuous supermodel holding chocolate-peanut butter chess pie walked from Europe, which was a forest for some reason, and booming hip-hop was playing and …”
Your listener is busy making mental grocery lists by this point.
Well, that’s what describing Crime Buster Blast-Off 3000 is like. Here, I’ll show you.
It’s the year 3000. Everyone lives in a computer, I think. Buster Blast is the last rock band on earth, but the pig-like computer virus Porker Chomper is out to eat up all the data. People eat human meat and drink dolphin milk. There are five actors, but one of them is a doll.
At the open, everyone is wearing velour tracksuits. At the end, more revealing costumes appear. The band is made of Tobby (the hyper-energetic Ian McDermott), The Loaf (the shameless Matt Haggerty), Emperor Gungo ( the often-crying Mason Trappio), The Chief (Alex Zito, who later asks everyone to drink his blood and share in his body) and finally the love interest Velveeta (played by a stunning doll).
Here’s a line that feels pretty normal in the context of this variety show: “If you’re gonna yank my chain, you might as well yank my teeth, and if you’re gonna yank my teeth, you might as well yank my dick clean off! ‘Cause you scared me back there.”
Here’s another: “Are you in a coma? Are we in a coma?!”
Another: “Is this what starvation feels like or is this just puberty?”
Crime Buster Blast-Off 3000
by Ian McDermott, Mason Trappio, Matt Hagerty and Francesca Blume
1021 7th Street NW 3rd Floor
Washington, DC, 20001
Details and tickets
It’s breathless, bulging, irreverent, unfocusedly focused, energetic, terrifying, impossible to describe and, most of all, hilarious. I’m still not sure if I left at the end, before the end or after the end. No one involved seemed to either. I’m not sure if the mistakes (“Is this even in the script?”) were purposeful or mistakes. I haven’t the slightest idea what I watched for an hour. But I cracked up laughing the entire time doing so.
This is absurdity in comedy taken to the next level. There are songs, masks, the appearance of God and velour tracksuits. If you demand more than that, this isn’t the show for you. If you want to see what most theatre-goers would call a show, with plot and characters and, you know, conclusions (or at least a clear point when the show is over), this isn’t for you.
If you want Andy Kaufman-like absurdity where the joke is as much on the audience and the idea of a play as it is on the Porker Chomper, then saddle up.
One way or another, it’s a hell of a ride.