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Review: ‘Bo Dacious and Liz Russo’ at AMP Powered by Strathmore

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There’s this hot little night club right across from some swanky automobile dealerships in a neighborhood calling itself Pike & Rose. The venue hosts a wide variety of arts and entertainment and makes for an incredibly enjoyable and affordable night out in the suburbs of greater DC.

At this venue, I watched seasoned professionals Bo Dacious and Liz Russo break through the buttoned up persona of a middle Maryland. Funny, as stand-up comedians are expected to be, but what struck me was how each artist worked hard to assess and corral the ultimate reward of audience laughter. I am not going to be able to repeat verbatim most of their acts.

Liz Russo. Photo by Phil Provencio.

Liz Russo opened the evening with an apology for being a little flustered after driving here from her small home town in Pennsylvania. Blaming all the unexpected traffic she encountered and inquiring if there was anything special going on in the area, she compared the commute to that of taking an Amish Uber. Big laugh! (For anyone reading this in the future – it was the eve of the Donald Trump Presidential Inauguration). Her opening shot successfully breaking the ice, Liz launched thirty minutes of humor, entertaining the somewhat intimate gathering of about a hundred folks. She shared her perspective on life as a “plus size model and recovering alcoholic” whose gateway drug was glazed doughnuts. This led to a segment on Spanx undergarments, which was funny across the board.

We learned of her exploits and education in Fat Camp as a kid which led to her ability to give up “alcohol, gluten, soy, dairy … and eventually her hopes and dreams!” Liz shared she is still on a journey which has already helped her loose a hundred pounds. She hopes someday to fit into a “hotel towel” but enjoys being a plus size runway model, which she says, is just like working in traditional fashion shows except that they actually use LaGuardia Airport for the runways. There was plenty of laughter of every variety. Some partisan – where part of the crowd was clueless, and the rest were in on the joke. Some nervous laughter – like when one passes gas “in your car right before you park and it’s still there hours later when you get back in,” but she left us in good spirits for the headliner.

Bo Dacious. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Bo Dacious took the stage and primed the pump with a couple of shots at the incoming “Tangerine –in-Chief” which I imagined played differently for audiences across the country where he has performed. He shared his trepidation with the election results at a time in history when “Burger King is selling hot dogs, and grown men are walking around searching for Pikachu.” A couple of times he had to energetically remind those gathered “It’s a joke dammit… That’s funny!” He was right, but he had work to do. I felt he synced best with the room during a rant on intersection etiquette. He explained how he decided to actually do something nice for another vehicle where he was stopped and offered them the right-of-way. He was feeling good about himself for that moment until the other driver did not respond quickly enough and he launched a blue tirade on their behalf!

I particularly enjoyed his cautioning us “you won’t tell these jokes at the office tomorrow” following a segment of politically incorrect work related stories. On the whole, his range of material included personal and universally understood topics. His delivery was crafted just right to get through to the room. He cajoled people who can be at the gym six days a week and still look like the “Mucinex Monster!” The room collectively roared at stories of people who snore themselves awake. And Bo shared how he prefers dating an older woman because they have nice things like “Driveways, and Crock-Pots”. The man worked hard and received a well-earned ovation when he closed.

Running Time: 90 minutes, with no intermission.

Bo Dacious & Liz Russo performed one night only at AMP Powered by Strathmore – 11810 Grand Park Avenue, Suite 400, in North Bethesda. For tickets to future events, call the box office at (301) 581-5100, or go online.

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