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Tuesday night, The Empty Pockets family headed out to Lincoln Hall to catch one of our favorite performers in his first ever Chicago show. Danielle and I rode the train in from the burbs and met up with Josh, Eri and Dan at Josh and Eri's apartment, had a quick aperitif [ link ] and headed out to grab some delicious food and discuss what songs we would love to hear out of our favorite piano-playing mad-man:
His name is Tim Minchin [ link ] and he's a delightful English-Australian comedian, musician and actor. His songs are as thought-provoking as they are hilarious, cleverly written and masterfully executed through wonderfully robust piano chops and excellently timed pauses or looks. His lyrical content is a swirling mixture of rhythm and poetry executed with a straight-faced precision that is made only more stimulating by the subject matter. Betwixt songs, his observational stand-up is hilariously pointed, deeply insightful, and sometimes just plain silly, all of which when added together makes for absolutely excellent theatre experience.
Here's a small cross-sampling of some of his music, most of which is easily viewable on his website or on the YouTubes. Disclaimer: Tim Minchin's comedy, while delightfully intelligent, can also be quite ribald and possibly offensive to those with delicate sensibilities. If you feel you may be one of these people, perhaps you'd be happier with someone slightly less offensive, such as the ineffable Tom Lehrer [ link ].
Tim Minchin's love song, "Inflatable You" shows off his hilarious word-play and rhyming schemes as well as his jaw-dropping piano chops and is an undeniable Empty Pockets favorite: [ link ]
"Not Perfect" is a great representation of Minchin's ability to create a song that has humor in it but is more than just a "comedy song," being a thought-provoking and insightful journey through man's existence in a sort of Matryoshka doll way. It's one of Danielle's favorites and is certainly worth your attention. [ link ]
And as a final taste of the brilliance of Tim Minchin, here's another favorite of the Pockets. It's the song I walked around the house singing before we split for the concert and I feel it's a perfect blending of comedy and musical-geekery. Witness for yourselves the genius of "F-Sharp". [ link ]
Tim Minchin will be at Lincoln Hall for the rest of the week, performing to sold-out audiences for the "Just For Laughs Comedy Festival" sponsored by TBS and Twix, so you may be out of luck if you want to see him in Chicago. However, he's on tour around the rest of the country for the next few months, so check out his website and go see him live. You won't regret it.
With a rift betwixt my fingers and my tenor,