Durst: Oldie but goodie 

click to enlarge Bay Area comic Will Durst, best known for his political humor, takes on a different topic in his new solo show at the Marsh. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Bay Area comic Will Durst, best known for his political humor, takes on a different topic in his new solo show at the Marsh.

Maybe you have to be a baby boomer to appreciate Will Durst’s latest solo act, “Boomeraging from LSD to OMG.” But I doubt it.

It is, of course, about the travails of what Durst terms being “chronologically gifted,” or “what happens when acid flashbacks meet dementia.”

Durst’s good-natured, acerbic monologue is so funny that about midway through — when he was describing how invisible baby boomers are in youth-oriented culture (which boomers invented!), and how, to Gen Y baristas, boomers appear to be little more than animated pieces of furniture waddling up to the bar — I found myself on the verge of uncontrollable, hysterical laughter.

Durst is not the first to poke fun at his own generation. Recently, also at the Marsh, clown-performer Geoff Hoyle wowed us with his “Geezer.”

Apparently the whole idea of the “maturation of the boomer nation,” as Durst calls it, is an endless source of merriment.

In a gray suit, suspenders, a paisley tie and white sneakers, the gray-bearded, gray-haired Durst — nationally known for his political stand-up comedy routines — is now holding forth weekly. He’s aided by occasional projections of illustrative text and a few sound effects.

But largely it’s the dryly witty and (self-described) avuncular Durst, now 61 (“60 is the new 33¹?³!”), sharing his insights into the odd experience of aging.

“This is the oldest I’ve ever been ... and I’m beginning to sense a pattern,” he muses.

A few of his comments tread overly familiar comic ground (dire warnings in school about the horrors of marijuana and cliche parental threats: “I’ll give you something to cry about!”). A list of presidential candidates from 1952 to 2012 doesn’t quite fit the context, either.

But most of his observations are hilarious, starting with a list of alternative titles he considered for the show, including “Boom Harangue” and “Wrinkles Don’t Hurt.”

He leads the audience in a reassuring mantra: “I am not as old as my parents were when they were my age.”

Look at the bright side of aging, he advises: Your peers are dying, of course, but, “Fewer peers means less peer pressure!” On the other hand, you’re still doing drugs — but now there’s a co-pay. Ka-boom.

He promises to reveal the meaning of life at the end, and it is indeed a wonderfully uplifting finale. Grab your hearing aids and canes and see for yourself.

REVIEW

Boomeraging from LSD to OMG

Where: Marsh, 1062 Valencia St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Tuesdays; closes May 28
Tickets: $15 to $35
Contact: (415) 282-3055, www.themarsh.org

About The Author

Jean Schiffman

Jean Schiffman

Bio:
Jean Schiffman is a freelance arts writer specializing in theatre. Some of her short stories and personal essays have been published in newspapers and small literary magazines. She is an occasional book copy editor and also has a background in stage acting. Her book “The Working Actor’s Toolkit” was published... more
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