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Why Bo Burnham’s show must stay sold-out

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February 2, 2016

11:57 AM

Last Monday, tickets for comedian Bo Burnham’s Charter Day show in Phi Beta Kappa Hall sold out after only a few hours. This sudden scarcity is the result of a policy to give not only students, but faculty, staff and the residents of Williamsburg an equal opportunity to purchase a ticket. Unfortunately, I had class during the ticket sale window and ended up among the many who, despite our admiration for Burnham’s idiosyncratic, innovative style of comedy, were unable to procure that strip of paper that guarantees us entry to his show.

My subsequent disappointment stems from two primary sources. First, since I was the only one of my friends to not purchase a ticket, I have to live with the potential reality of sitting in my room while all my friends communally enjoy Burnham’s comedic riot. I’m supremely confident that I’m not the only student who faces this issue. The second reason – which rests at the foundation of my dismay – is that I will be unable to experience Burnham’s mastery in person.

The mass of students who also feel the frustration I have described have petitioned for the relocation of Burnham’s show from PBK to Kaplan Arena. While this solution adequately addresses the problem of limiting seating, it raises more substantial difficulties.

Indeed, he has transcended the role of mere comedian and, consequentially, has emerged as a hilarious critic of popular culture, social conflict, music, gender relations, sexuality, religion and even the form of modern comedy; in fact, Burnham delivers his energized critique of modern society through the persona of a “more arrogant, stuck-up version of himself” that is, surprisingly, theatrically introspective.

The mass of students who also feel the frustration I have described have petitioned for the relocation of Burnham’s show from PBK to Kaplan Arena. While this solution adequately addresses the problem of limiting seating, it raises more substantial difficulties. First, having worked on several lighting crews for PBK main stage productions, I can easily predict the numerous logistical complications that may emerge if Burnham’s show is moved to Kaplan on Charter Day.

Therefore, although I share in the disappointment of my fellow students who may not directly revel in Bo Burnham’s comedic ingenuity, I confidently declare that moving his show to a larger, more accommodating space would generate several practical and aesthetic difficulties that are, frankly, not worth the effort to correct.

Specifically, since there is a basketball game in the arena a few hours before the planned time of Burnham’s show, it is blatantly unreasonable to expect that a crew could sufficiently install and test Burnham’s potentially complex lighting and sound design within a few hours. Furthermore, the crew would have to rehearse the entirety of the show several times before the actual performance to ensure quality. Since this process would doubtlessly be rushed, safety would be compromised. Regarding the arguably more significant topic of aesthetics, moving the show to Kaplan would damage the artistic essence of Burnham’s performance since, despite its apparent theatricality, the introspective style demands a more intimate performance space. Kaplan’s behemoth nature operates as a contradiction to the spirit of such a space.

Therefore, although I share in the disappointment of my fellow students who may not directly revel in Bo Burnham’s comedic ingenuity, I confidently declare that moving his show to a larger, more accommodating space would generate several practical and aesthetic difficulties that are, frankly, not worth the effort to correct.

Email Jordan Wyner at [email protected]

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  • Jordan Wyner

  • William

    Christ, you write like an overconfident 15 year old.

    • Why do I go here

      lol, so accurate.

      Your writing is very much like someone trying to lace up a pair of shoes that are much too big, without realizing that you are, in fact, wearing sandles.