Ten minutes can seem like an eternity—at least it can if you’re an audience member waiting to see the newest iteration of the sketch comedy brilliance of the Cody Rivers Show.
That was the case last Thursday night at the iDiOM Theater, where those in attendance at the sold-out show waited anxiously to view Mike Mathieu and Andrew Connor’s “Once and for All for One.”
It had been nearly a year-and-a-half since the longtime collaborators had last brought the Cody Rivers Show to Bellingham’s stages, and, at approximately 10 minutes past the stated starting hour, people were getting noticeably fidgety.
Then, just when it seemed the tension might be too much to bear, the room went dark and the magic started.
I don’t want to give away too much—part of the joy of attending one of these performances is that you would never, ever be able to guess what’s in store onstage—but suffice it to say these guys know how to light up a room.
They also know how to finagle the English language in such a way that every sentence holds worlds of meaning, contort their bodies into positions that would fell most able-bodied men, use their facial muscles to weird, wonderful advantage and, most importantly, bring nonstop laughter to the masses.
When I caught up with Mathieu after the show, he said there was a time he and Connor weren’t sure they’d return from their self-imposed hiatus. And, since Mathieu is now living in Seattle, when they did decide to stage a Cody Rivers return, the logistics became a bit more complicated.
“It takes a lot of time and labor to make a show, but in a way all it takes is the two of us, so as long as we remain in each other’s lives, it feels like there’s always the chance we’ll work together,” Mathieu says.
In the years when they were both living in Bellingham and taking Cody Rivers to venues across the nation, Mathieu says he and Connor’s working relationship was “basically a marriage”—sans fighting.
When asked what he attributes the success of their relationship and performances to, Mathieu points again to their “uncommonly deep compatibility” and high standards.
“We’re hard to please, and easily disillusioned,” he says. “So it takes considerable stretching and flexing to come up with stuff that turns us on.”
When the Cody Rivers Show makes its way to the Mount Baker Theatre’s mainstage Sun., Oct. 7, Mathieu says it’ll be with the same material that wowed audiences at the smaller venue the previous week.
“In larger spaces it’s more difficult to infect the audience with our energy,” Mathieu says. “But that means we lean into it a little more.”
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