Entertainment » Culture

'You're The Expert' @ the Davis Square Theater. 6/23/16

by Kelly May
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Jun 24, 2016
'You're The Expert' @ the Davis Square Theater. 6/23/16

"You're the Expert" is a live show, podcast, and public radio program on 90.9 WBUR, Boston's NPR station. The show uses comedy to make academic research more accessible and exciting. Hosted by Chris Duffy, it features three comedians trying to guess what a professor studies all day. Each show introduces new academics and comedians, making every show a different and interesting journey into a world of research studies that many of us do not think about in our daily lives. Attending a live show of "You're the Expert" is a fun and happy evening. Everyone from the professor to the audience wants to enjoy the experience, and the "You're the Expert" team knows how to deliver.

Listening to someone talk about an esoteric area of research could be a daunting way to spend one and one-half hours, but host Chris Duffy does an excellent job at keeping a quick and lively pace. Before "You're the Expert," Duffy was a fifth-grade teacher, and the audience benefits from his knowledge of how to keep a classroom interested long enough to make complex information understandable.

On the evening of June 23rd, the comedians featured were Sasheer Zamata ("Saturday Night Live"), Obehi Janice (star of "We're Gonna Die"), and Ken Reid ("TV Guidance Counselor"). The professor was Dr. Alexandra Rosati, from Harvard University. All did an excellent job engaging the audience. Also, the comedians interacted well and played off each other, which added to the evening's enjoyment.

Dr. Rosati is a primate psychologist, and throughout the evening the audience learned about the similarities and differences between chimpanzees and humans. (Quick tip: chimpanzees like to steal things, so don't bring your favorite pen.) The evening was divided into a series of guessing games, with the comedians trying to guess Dr. Rosati's job title, area of specialty, how she got into the field, her research in the news, her own social life. In a few of the segments, comedians had to try and apply what they had learned. Not surprisingly, the "Guess whether this scenario is from a research paper or from 'The Bachelor'" was hilarious and actually a bit challenging. Also, "Two Truths and a Lie" elicited a lot of audience laughter. The evening ended with Duffy and Rosati discussing why her research was important, and it was heart-warming to hear the passion in her voice as she discussed her research.

Go on - attend a performance sometime. You will spend a night laughing and learning. Plus, you will have fun and walk away feeling a little smarter.

"You're the Expert" recorded two episodes on June 23rd at Davis Square Theatre. If you want to learn about upcoming shows, you can join "You're the Expert's" mailing list. Also, you can download the podcast or listen on WBUR 90.9 FM on Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Mondays at 9 p.m. The podcast and NPR shows are only forty-five minutes, so go to a live show if you want to see "behind-the-scenes" moments.

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