Storytelling Arts of Indiana; Indiana History Center; Dec. 1
About halfway through the first part of the show, a woman’s cell phone went off. Andy Offutt Irwin stopped mid-sentence, tore pell-mell up the auditorium stairs to the row the woman was sitting in, stretched his long arm out, pointing at the woman, and proclaimed in a resonant voice, “THE ACCUSED!” I think this impromptu act got as many laughs as the prepared material, but given that Irwin’s session was mostly about his Aunt Marguerite, the woman who taught him the three principal rules of practical jokes, it seemed apropos. Irwin obviously loves his aunt very much, an 85-year-old woman who just graduated from medical school and opened a hospital with her friends, but her idiosyncratic life has become vibrant fodder for Irwin’s stories. Mimicking Marguerite’s warbling, old-woman voice, Irwin consistently entertains without props or flailing limbs — he simply doesn’t need them. Good stuff.