Smutty and salacious comic Woody Shticks has baked all his best cookies for a new show Who Cares! and fully expects you to, well, not care. Members of the audience will be given tomatoes they can throw onstage at any time, telling him to skip to the next bit. “It’s like if you’re watching a Netflix thing you can just skip the intro, skip this thing, skip this thing,” Woody explained. “Either audiences skip every piece of the show – and then the show is 20 minutes – or the opposite is true where nobody skips anything because they’re too scared to do it.”
Woody describes Who Cares! as a “solo explosion” obsessed with living up the tropes of one-person performance. Think blue lights, wooden chairs, storytelling, multi-character dramas and origin stories, layered with songs from Tina Turner, Savage Garden, Shania Twain, and disco composer Walter Murphy. “I’m always happy to dance too enthusiastically,” Woody boasted about the musical pieces. “[There’s] a lot of bright-eyed dewiness specifically in the dance numbers. I’ll probably have some poppers with me, just to fully dilate. Really hyperextend.”
Segments of the show take place in Woody’s childhood bedroom, home of his first performances and the water bed that achieves mythical status in his origin stories, an Atlantic City costume shop, and the general Gay Void. “There’s a lot of purple mylar there,” he said of his personal void, “ferns, macrame, pillows, lavender, gentle pinks. That’s what I want, to float on a cloud of tenderness – which is what the set will feel like, as well.”
The Big Gay spectacle aside, Woody wants Who Cares! to explore feelings of disappointment. He, in fact, cares too much “about pretty much everything all the time and [Who Cares!] is a big foil,” Woody said. “Disappointment is a pretty constant emotion for me.” In a world “on fire” the performer wants audiences to look on the other side of identity and respectability politics. Will the audience care about his coming out stories or will they skip them? Who Cares! is a place for the performer to muse about self-identity work. What are we doing with all of this?” he asks. “I don’t think it’s enough for me to stand on stage and be like, Hey I’m gay and loud so that means you have to listen to me.” The fact that the audience can skip a section will augment and shape the comedy. Woody alluded to the idea of having a heated cooking apparatus on stage, hinting at the potential for a culinary catastrophe if the scene is skipped.
Who Cares! is Woody’s fourth solo show. He wrote and performed Caught One Handed in 2014, Schlong Song in 2017, and Maniac in 2018, pieces that examine gay assimilation narratives, queer sex, and Woody’s personal account of conversion therapy.
In addition to directing Who Cares! with interarts gang The Libertinis, Woody Shticks has been busy producing Tender Loving Queers, a comedy mini-fest running February 7-10 at 18th & Union.
Who Cares! will debut Thursday the Feb 7 at 7:30pm, and be the final show every night of the mini-fest. Friday, Feb 8 will kick off with Chuckle Nuts! at 7:30pm, a stand up special with seasoned comedians Mitch Mitchell, Bobby Higley, Val Nigro ,and Max Delsohn. Saturday, Feb 9 features Class Clowns! at 7:30pm, a showcase of seven high school and college age queers doing their first ever stand up sets. “[The newbies] have been meeting with me to workshop material,” Woody revealed, indicating that comics from Chuckle Nuts! have also given feedback to the young group. Sunday, Feb 10 begins with Afternoon Delight! from 3pm-5pm, a potluck story slam where the audience is encouraged to bring a dish to share and a story to tell. Tender Loving Queers will culminate that night with Who Cares! At 7:30pm.