Review: Feedbag Material at Underground 9 

click to enlarge PHIL JERN
  • Phil Jern

For anyone who thought the variety show went out of style when Sonny and Cher broke up, I submit to you Feedbag Material, a monthly Irvington-based event curated by Courtney Kay Meyers in Underground 9 Studio, which you might know as the basement of Bookmamas. Mixing of song parodies, topical humor and absurdist sketches, the show is a made-by-women night put on for everyone 18 and over, with every month's show an entirely new batch of material.

Highlights for me during the July 14 edition included a jumpy Ann Romney impression, a new twist on the old cutting-onions gag and a dramatic retelling of the story of Rapunzel - the title character played by a decapitated, de-limbed mannequin - taken straight from an only child's bedroom on a Sunday afternoon. A cast of four (with most of the show pulled along by Meyers and her co-work-horse Erin Livingston) is also the show's crew, cleaning up between acts and taking tickets at the bottom of the basement steps, into a venue called Underground 9 filled with folding chairs, a few '70s-colored couches and a couple rows of actual theatre seating torn from who knows where.

The feel of the patchwork venue - filled with folding chairs, a few '70s-colored couches and a couple rows of actual theater seating torn from who knows where - is aligned with the D.I.Y. nature of the show. There's a punk-rock vibe to being invited into a workshop space to see something still developing. The goal of Feedbag Material is to craft these monthly lumps of original clay into something more polished that might be performed outside of a used bookstore's basement. Feedbag is on the calendar five more times during the next five months: August 11, September 8, October 13, November 10 and December 8.

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