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Speechless

Tony Winner James Monroe Iglehart Guests at Innovative Silicon Valley Revue Speechless

By: Ellis Nassour

Aladdin’s indefati

James Monroe Iglehart

gable genie, Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart will be a special guest on August 25 at the East Coast debut of Speechless, "Silicon Valley’s hilarious, snarky, irreverent underground" revue where tech workers and entrepreneurs – alongside entertainers – "live out their worst nightmares." The one-night-only performance will be at 7:30 at Joe’s Pub. TED Darling, poet Sarah Kay, Future Mate creator Brian Fountain, and improv guru Nathan Phillips will headline the show, created by Sammy Wegent.

Tony Winner James Monroe Iglehart Guests at Innovative Silicon Valley Revue Speechless

By: Ellis Nassour

Aladdin’s indefati

James Monroe Iglehart

gable genie, Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart will be a special guest on August 25 at the East Coast debut of Speechless, "Silicon Valley’s hilarious, snarky, irreverent underground" revue where tech workers and entrepreneurs – alongside entertainers – "live out their worst nightmares." The one-night-only performance will be at 7:30 at Joe’s Pub. TED Darling, poet Sarah Kay, Future Mate creator Brian Fountain, and improv guru Nathan Phillips will headline the show, created by Sammy Wegent.

Speechless, produced by Scott Lifton and Anthony Veneziale, has been attracting hi-tech intellects monthly in shows at San Francisco’s Public Works. "The result," notes Lifton, "has been a series of fall-down laugh-riot presentations — presented by tech company engineers, programmers, and product developers such as Google and IDEO, all vying for prizes and bragging rights."

It’s also been showcased at comedy festivals including SF Sketchfest, San Francisco’s Improv Festival, and the tech conference Funnybiz.

"With nothing more than a stage," says Wegent, "players are put on the spot with a microphone and a PowerPoint deck of images. A virtual spinning wheel determines what kind of random talk the speaker must give – anything from a TED Talk, app launch, new hire orientation, video game pitch, quarterly report, even a sexual harassment seminar – while outrageous slides are presented." A panel of judges score each presentation on a "Funny, Understandable, Transcendent, Informative, Legendary, Entertaining" basis.

Contestants are chosen by advance web applications. To participate, and for more information, visit www.speechlesslive.com or www.facebook.com/speechlesssf.

James Monroe Iglehart

The show’s a sort of high-tech fun revenge response to the estimated 350 PowerPoint presentations given per second (21,000 per minute, 1.26 million per hour) "with hapless workers from Cupertino to Chengdu pinned to their plastic chairs, fighting sleep, while managers, developers, and sales leaders drone on and on, aided by visual charts, graphs and photos."

Tickets for Speechless at Joe’s Pub are $20 in advance, $25 at the door with a $12 food or two-drink minimum. They’re available at the Public Theatre box office (from 2 P.M.), by calling (212) 967-7555 (10 A.M.-7 P.M.), or on line at www.publictheater.org

Photo: Barry Gordin
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