Opening with an outrageous performance-art piece, presented by an Oberlin student, Paul W. Downs lets audiences know he's not about to hold anything back in his one-man show, The Paul Downs Syndrome, currently in a limited run at the UCB Theatre in New York City.
A short video with Downs playing all of the characters surrounding a newborn baby afflicted with the syndrome suggests that it manifests itself in "a series of seemingly unrelated episodes of perversion."
What audiences get, in fact, is a look at several strong, confident, pointed characters who'd fit in just fine on the set of Saturday Night Live. Yevejegenja Yuevjskaya, an MTV Europe VJ who'd make a good replacement for SNL's current "Deep Dish" sketch, gives us insight in this video into the art and music of Tudu, who in the show is up for a Kids Choice Award in Europe. Roll this video for a glimpse at both characters:
Downs also offers up tough NYPD detective The Rattler, who has a thing for babies; a blind guy on a Segway (how often do you see a Segway in a comedy show, or anywhere, in 2010?!); Mikey Starr, a seven-year-old music superstar who is pressured by his overbearing mother to deliver lines for an ad just right; and, oh, that's right, Downs also stars in separate video sketches with Vanessa Williams, Padma Lakshmi and Kristin Chenoweth. You can literally see audience members looking at one another, thinking, how did he do that? He did it.
It's in your face, but not too aggressively so, and as it turns out, Downs already has auditioned for the folks at SNL. So whether you get to see any of this wild and crazy stuff on the boob tube may be just a matter of when and where, whether it's late-night Saturdays or somewhere else, because I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of Paul W. Downs.