Raunchy but Sweet: Garfunkel and Oates Take the Straz

By Gail Reynolds, Columnist

Garfunkel and Oates
Tampa Bay Straz Center for the Performing Arts
November 21, 2014

Reynolds Rap If Garfunkel and Oates had not been satirically so named, alluding to two famous musical second bananas, In Sync would have been most fitting had that not already been taken. The synchronization of Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome’s delivery of rapid fire, tongue twisting lyrics is astonishing.

And the lyrics themselves are equally arresting. No subject is off-limits. As well as common socially awkward situations and breaking up by texting, topics include tedious sexual congress, homo-erotic experimentation that evokes ick! , the unexpected pleasures of riding rickety hyper vibrating go-carts, and retaining virginity on a technicality. Even expectant motherhood is viewed askance with “Pregnant Women are Smug.”

Their comic effect is heightened by contrast and derailed expectations. These are not severe, intimidating looking broads but bubbly cuties whose short dresses are not the least slutty but adorably feminine. Their sweet harmonies further reinforces the effect.

The audience itself was a surprise. The filled Ferguson Hall comprised a surprising number of men, and clearly not men just dragged there. The duo noted that this was their first Florida performance. A guy encouraged them to come again, noting “I drove from Miami to see you, Kate.” Audience members of both genders clearly are avid fans.

In their eponymously named IFC sitcom, Lindhome self-effacingly quips that she has an entire musical career based on being able to play three guitar chords. Don’t believe it. She and Micucci are talented musicians. Kate Micucci’s Raising Hope character, Shelly, was at the forefront of the ukulele craze. Perhaps there will be non-comedic renditions in the future.

At $26.00 apiece for the best seats, the performance was well worth twice the price. The show began promptly at 8 with Cigar City native Matt Fernandez opening with droll seemingly detached, yet engaging comedy. Instead of taking an intermission afterward, the main performance followed immediately, making for a fast-paced evening that seemed much shorter than its actual time.

The only disappointment was that, Micucci and Lindhome didn’t exit through the official Straz stage door, to the dismay of a couple dozen fans. One wonders if the believability of Kate’s
painfully shy character on The Big Bang Theory is based on a personal trait. Could they have escaped through a bathroom window?

Gail Reynolds