On Thursday, June 9, the weirdos and art-lovers of Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston descended upon the Davis Square Theater one last time for the third-season finale of The Encyclopedia Show: Somerville. Whether they’d come to celebrate, commiserate, or just have a good time, the audience was warm and kind, as always!
For this finale, the Encyclopedia Show crew decided to do something a little different: all the artists who performed were directly affiliated with the show in some capacity. Whether it was Steve Subrizi, who was the show intern for seasons 1 and 2, or Wes Hazard, who has performed beautifully funny monologues for every Encyclopedia Show: Somerville to date, it was a big family reunion, and everyone in Boston was invited.
The evening’s theme was the Suburbs, and the artists did not disappoint in living up to it. Chloé Cunha, who co-hosted season 3, and Catherine Martin, who produced it, brought very personal poems to the stage– Catherine’s poem about A Wrinkle in Time was a quiet reminder that maybe the suburbs aren’t so bad after all, while Chloé’s expertly punny piece about trimming hedges and her attraction to women brought the house down. Steve Subrizi and the Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library each performed wonderfully entertaining songs they wrote just for this show. But the biggest musical surprise of the night was when host Rob Crean, who is a renowned comedian, sang a pop-punk ballad that seemed like it was written by A Simple Plan, but was actually composed by Mr. Crean himself! He sang it beautifully.
The plot of the final show was that hosts Rob and Chloé were retiring to collect the pensions owed to them by the Institute of Human Knowledge and Hygiene. In order to qualify for their pensions, the hosts needed to adhere to the rules set forth by the Institute, which were to make the show fit the 50’s suburban sensibilities that prevailed at the time the rules were written. Rob and Chloé’s plan fell apart in the third act, as it was revealed to them by Eddy Encyclopedia, the founder of the Encyclopedia Show (played brilliantly by Mathieu Cunha, who is also season 3’s Intern Mat) that the Institute’s pension fund is a fraud, and Rob and Chloé would receive no money. Luckily, Wes Hazard and Teacher Meg were there to cheer everyone up! Wes’s final performance for our show was heartwarming, as he told of his storied past as a giant nerd growing up in a Boston suburb. Teacher Meg returned to our show for one last hurrah, after being away all year; she reviewed all the topics that had been covered in season 3, mainly using a sleeping bag and a very nice audience member. Her set was glorious, and we were so happy to have had her.
The show closed with a video by Intern Mat, which showed what all of the cast members would be up to in 10 years. This video can be viewed at the Encyclopedia Show: Somerville YouTube page!
A special thanks to Jade Sylvan as Jack Van Sly, who did not have a whole lot to do in our final show, but who was a terrific sport and gave fantastic performances all season.
So what’s next for the The Encyclopedia Show: Somerville? For now, it’s HIBERNATION: nope, not a new theme, but a long winter’s respite. After three great seasons, the cast and staff are ready to pack it in… But with more encyclopedic themes out there, not to mention more truths to be truthed, the show has plenty of life left for a future reboot. Watch this space in coming seasons, but for now: farewell!