Baby Boomers Get Their Due
Alchemist debuts sketch comedy ‘Boomtown!’
The show is the product
of Cialdini’s fascination with the wildly divergent baby-boomer culture.
“They were hippies or
hedge fund managers, country club blue-bloods or tree-huggers, Glenn Beck or
Bill Maher,” Cialdini says. “I think one of their legacies is the extremes.”
Cialdini says that he
wanted to work with a subject that allows for a broad canvas—and he’s found it.
“The boomers cover everything,” he notes.
critiques should make for some dynamic comedy. “The baby boomers shaped the
last 50 years of mainstream American culture,” he says. “Their hypocrisy is
well documented, but more interesting is their 100% belief in their own
The show opens with a
parody of Rebel Without a Cause
(“It’s one of the worst/best movies,” Cialdini says) and closes with an aging
boomer couple discussing the possible purchase of a Harley—evidently attempting
to regain a sense of the vitality they felt in the ’60s, when Woodstock ruled. The couple’s neighbor is
moving to Florida
to retire. “Some problems just can’t be solved by rolling around in the mud,”
the neighbor says.
Judging from Cialdini’s
description, the show’s depth should go beyond traditional, light comedy. This
is social satire in sketch comedy format.
Cialdini, who hails from
Milwaukee and studied philosophy at Marquette, has worked with Chicago’s
Second City. This debut production features an
interesting mix of other local talent. Dylan Bolin—best known for his work in
local morning radio and his one-man show Peace,
Love and a 30-Year Mortgage—and Tim Higgins of ComedySportz join Cynthia
Kmak of Bye Bye Liver and Second
City’s Grant Collins. Kristina Felske, who wrote part of the show, appears
onstage as well. Felske, a Mequon native, met
Cialdini at Second
City. Milwaukee piano-bar maestro Joe Hite serves
as the show’s musical director.
Nicholas Cialdini’s Boomtown! runs July 15 and July 22 at the Alchemist Theatre in Bay View.