Brave New Workshop gets Favre fever

The comedy staple’s “Brett Favre’s Christmas Spectacular: The Immaculate Interception” further hones “Minnesota Humor” as a genre.

PHOTO COURTESY BRAVE NEW WORKSHOP

PHOTO COURTESY BRAVE NEW WORKSHOP

Tony Libera

âÄúBrett FavreâÄôs Christmas Spectacular: The Immaculate InterceptionâÄù WHEN: Various dates, through Jan. 30 WHERE: Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre TICKETS: Prices vary http://www.bravenewworkshop.org/current-show.php Minnesotans have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. They finally caught the Gopher Groper, Hollywood has not made another movie that portrays us as lumberjacks or humble bumpkins and, most importantly, the Vikings are leading the NFC North with an 8-1 record. In honor of this momentous season and the grizzled, 40-year-old champion at the helm, the signature players of Brave New Workshop are performing a sketch show called âÄúBrett FavreâÄôs Christmas Spectacular: The Immaculate Interception.âÄù The title of the show is a bit misleading. As it begins, one of the actors takes on the persona of a showy preacher, detailing FavreâÄôs (Bobby Gardner ) past exploits with grandiosity before hailing his glorious arrival as a purple-and-gold warrior. A hostile Packers fan verbally accosts poor Brett in rap form, and after the awkwardness that inevitably comes when white Midwesterners spit rhymes, the crew settles into the next scene. ThatâÄôs all we get of Favre, but itâÄôs not a problem. The next hour blows by with a series of sketches that manage to ridicule both the fundamental concepts of the holidays and the Minnesota lifestyle in a way that doesnâÄôt seem at all trite. In the âÄúMan vs. MinnesotaâÄù scene, we watch a TV show that chronicles a San Franciscan man battling the horror of a Minnesota winter. ThatâÄôs well-worn territory, but the cast pulls it off with humor and wit. You canâÄôt help but laugh when you watch a shirtless man cursing God, middle fingers in the air, after slipping on the ice and being locked out of his car. And a line like âÄúhis tenuous hold on sanity appears to be intactâÄù is just too good to pass up. Familial hostility is another subject that receives too much attention in the comedy world, but again, the Brave New Workshoppers rise to the occasion. Both acts close with an all-cast rendition of âÄúThe Twelve Days of Christmas,âÄù done from the perspective of shrieking mothers and angry fathers. YouâÄôd think two songs of the same shtick âÄî one founded on endless repetition, no less âÄî would get stale. But as the songs devolve into crying men, dinosaur roars and drunken matriarchs, the audience laughs, and the cast members win their applause. In these frosty days, when the troubles of the oft-discussed recession, H1N1 and the always-robust holiday suicide rate hang over our heads, itâÄôs nice to know there are still some people who arenâÄôt afraid to skewer it all.