This brief article is the first in a series titled, “A Brief Chat With.” As you will likely discern, the series will consist of mainly brief chats with various personalities in the Buffalo comedy cultural scene. Our first personality is writer and artist Pat Kewley, who recently concluded Celebrity Autobiography.
Buffalo got a little taste of celebrity ‘genius’ recently, with the now-wrapped 10-week run of Celebrity Autobiography, staged in Black Rock’s Rohall’s Corner. Produced by Road Less Traveled Productions and piloted by writer and artist Pat Kewley, the theatrical comedy show featured a gamut of Buffalo artists and performers lending their voices to the task of bringing the astoundingly true printed celebrity word to life.
“One of the main things I wanted to do was put together the cast and the feel of the show so that it would involve people from as many different scenes as possible — comedy people, theater people, writers, artists, musicians. I think our crowds bore that out. It was always an interesting mix of people from different diverse scenes, kind of a weird hybrid overlap, which I really enjoyed,” Kewley said, reflecting on the genesis of the production. The show finale featured cast members Jamie Bono, Adam Yellen, and Diane McNamara, with special guests, rapper Jack Topht and poet/artist/designer Joel Brenden.
The premise of the show was simple: esteemed performers read from some not-so-very-esteemed-at-all books written by members of our society’s celebrity faction, including such illustrious and poignant personalities as Tila Tequila, Snooki Polizzi, and Vanilla Ice. Some readings are deadpan, some are dramatically voiced and coupled with gesture, and some are spat out between bursts of laughter. For such a simple concept, the show was an unusual treat. The evidence of its formula’s success can be found in the several accolades gathered by the LA/NYC and touring production of the same name, which has been running in some incarnation for almost two decades.
Now that Buffalo’s own incarnation is finished, Kewley, himself a rising celeb in the arts community, is looking forward to some new projects with some new folks – and he thanks Celeb Auto for that. “I made a lot of great connections and met a lot of great comedy people in the course of doing the show, so I’m looking forward to keeping that going and working with them again…I’ve got a few ideas for things in a comedy context that I’m excited to work on, and Buffalo’s comedy scene has never been more interesting and exciting than it is right now, so this will be a great time to try stuff like that.
“What I love about Buffalo is that it’s so easy to get stuff off the ground here, you’re really just limited by your imagination and how much work you’re willing to put into things, so I’m hoping that thanks to that I’ll be able to get a few more of my weird ideas out into the world,” he said.