'Live full, sing loud and drink deep'

'Live full, sing loud and drink deep'

It didn’t take long for actor and comedian Nick Offerman to show off his World Series loyalties Tuesday night.

Offerman, of “Parks and Recreation” fame, strode onto the Virginia Theatre stage wearing his Cubs T-shirt, immediately announced the score (3-0 Chicago) and apologized for scheduling his show on the same night. He then delivered a message “with relish” to Cardinals’ fans: Maybe next year.

It was a show filled with (some off-color) tributes to his alma mater (University of Illinois Class of ‘93) and Champaign-Urbana, which Offerman called “the coolest town in the state ... where agriculture meets art meets intelligence.”

He claimed the university had asked him to do a PG-13 version of his “Full Bush” show, a mix of stand-up comedy and Offerman tunes. It was anything but. Even his song, “I’m Workin’ PG-13” strayed from the “family friendly” vibe.

"If I am in your sphere, nothing can be PG-13," he said.

He hit on the value of working with your hands (he’s an accomplished woodworker); the evils of social media (a song about a dark relationship with Siri); his infatuation with his wife (actress Megan Mullally); his love for America, warts and all; and of course politics, with a dystopian tune about life under a theoretical Donald Trump presidency (piles of guns, no more “brown” people).

He also talked about moving beyond his popular “Ron Swanson” persona from “Parks and Rec.”

Perhaps the night’s funniest line: his tale of a fan’s social media comment that he “saw Nick Offerman without his mustache, then I vomited and died.” Offerman said he decided to take that as a backhanded compliment but added, “That’s my face.”

Throughout he asked for Cubs updates. When a voice over the sound system (stage manager Kevin McGuire) reported Jake Arietta “on fire” in the third, Offerman said, “Thank you, Jesus.” The voice replied, “You’re welcome.” After the Addison Russell grand slam, Offerman threw up his arms and strutted around the stage. The crowd loved it.

Offerman grew up in Minooka and said he thought he had hit the big city when he came to Champaign-Urbana. A theater major, he fondly recalled classes at the Krannert Center, his job at Kinko’s, and graveyard shifts as a Parkland College security guard. He admired the Virginia's renovation and recalled a drug-enhanced trip to see a movie there as an undergraduate. Before the show he had barbeque at Black Dog and stopped by Espresso Royale and the UI’s Japan House. He lauded the wisdom of former director Shozo Sato, that through “the choices you make, you’re curating your life.” His final song urged listeners to “Live full, sing loud and drink deep.” "He's just very real. There's no airs," said Virginia Director Steve Bentz. "He was about the easiest person to work with I've ever met."

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