Turn Off Your TV

Turn on the Idiot Box

THURS, 12/11

If you've ever wondered how the simple pressing of a button on the remote control can summon legions of different characters for your personal entertainment, you are not alone. "We all know that televisions are complicated pieces of machinery," write the producers of Idiot Box, an evening of sketch comedy at the Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan Street. "While we all have a vague notion of how they work -- tiny people trapped inside are forced to act out every channel -- many of us are confused about the specifics."The twelfth original collaboration between Buntport and the Idiot Box comedy troupe, the show aims to clarify precisely how the magic that is television occurs.

"It's the fairies that live inside the TV," troupe member Samantha Schmitz expertly explains. "The fairies tie everything together."

Idiot Box highlights the on- and off-screen challenges of five such TV fairies, who are doomed to live out most of their lives trapped inside the boob tube. The audience serves as a sort of remote control, changing quickly from one channel to another.

"There are about eight sketches that serve as episodes," says Schmitz. "The five fairies act out each one as different characters and snap back to their fairy identities during the brief breaks between shows."

And you thought there were just a bunch of wires in there.

Idiot Box opens at 8 p.m. tonight and runs Thursdays through Sundays through December 21. Tickets are $15, $10 for students and seniors (December 14 is "pay what you can" night). For details, log on to www.buntport.com. -- Adam Cayton-Holland

Merry Chucklemas
Hope for the Holidays brings a grin
MON, 12/15

It's hard to stay happy during this figgy-puddin'-laced season. The static urging folks to shop is amped higher each passing day, and the endless loop of Christmas carols is enough to make you loopy. As Buddy the Elf knows, becoming "an angry dwarf" in December is not unusual.So the folks at the Comedy Works are trying a little counter-programming to inspire holiday cheer, decorated with the tinsel of giving. For the eighth year, the Larimer Square laff pit will host Hope for the Holidays, a gathering of national touring comedians to benefit the disabled-sports program at Children's Hospital. And these Yule fools will be relentless in their pursuit of chuckles: With acts ranging from veterinarian Kevin Fitzgerald to KYGO's "Mudflap" McGrew expected to unwrap their humor bombs, the evening should slay any sleigh-hatin' naysayers.

Hope for the Holidays hits the Comedy Works, 1226 15th Street, tonight at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $15 in advance, $20 at the door. If you want to tote along a toy to donate, so much the better. Call 303-595-3637 or visit www.comedyworks.com for information. -- Ernie Tucker

 
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