Reviewed by Jasleen Jaswal Vines
Ask 100 people on the street to explain a final state diagram depicting the decline from order to chaos, and you’ll get 99 blank stares. Science isn’t something the average person pays attention to beyond required high school classes (though some of us still get excited by nerdy comic strips like XKCD). The remaining one person might know it, but can’t explain in a way that laymen understand. Rare is the person who can make sense of it with the analogy of having too much to drink over the course of the night. Now, the concept is relatable, funny, and much easier to understand.
Therein lies the charm of Tim Lee’s show, in a limited run at the Chicago Fringe Festival. A former Ph.D. student who left academia for entertainment, Lee delivers observational stand-up while laying out scientific principles in everyday terms (think references to “JerseyShore” and dating). Lee is handsome and low-key, reminiscent of a popular teacher in high school who told nerdy jokes but made the subject interesting. He uses a projector to display helpful graphs and charts, and lets the audience work out the jokes for themselves (there’s no obvious mugging for laughs or reactions here). If you enjoy a little science in your humor, or want to find out what Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is all about, you’ll enjoy this show.
Running time: 45 minutes, no intermission.
At BothSidesArtGallery, 1838 S. Halsted
For a complete list of showtimes and to purchase tickets, visit Chicago Fringe Festival’s website.