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Sunday, 26 January 2014 23:13

The Wonder Bread Years: 'You'll put your eye out with that Jart!'

Written by Laura Kyro
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Pat Hazell with Jart
Pat Hazell with Jart 2013 Sweetwood Productions

The Washington University Ovations Series continued its 2013–2014 offerings with a couple of one-man performances of "The Wonder Bread Years," by writer, playwright, actor, producer, director, comedian Pat Hazell.

If you're a member of a generation of Americans that played with the original Jarts with metal tips, enjoyed a treat of wax candy bottles with a couple of drops of colored sugar water, snapped metal Slinkys, kept a folded rain hat around for those pesky showers, and avidly ate Wonder Bread and any and all kinds of cereals that proudly declared "sugar" in their names ("Sugar Pops," "Sugar Frosted Flakes," "Sugar Puffs," "Sugar Crisp"), Pat hoped you were in the audience for one of his two recent shows in the Edison Theatre on the campus of Washington University.

The two acts (around two hours with a 20-minute intermission) featured videos, songs, advertisements, props, and a plethora of personal reminiscences circa the mid-1950s-mid 1970s. Delivered with wry humor, Hazell also knew how to work a crowd (at 58-years-of-age, his pedigree includes time as a writer on the "Seinfeld" series), and most in the audience were chuckling and nodding their heads with thoughts of shared knowledge and similar experiences. Much of the show also involved audience interaction, and there was no lack of people to chime in with their own apt memories. But you had to live there, because anyone below 40 and above 70 were no doubt scratching their heads as to why this was all so humorous.

That said, to judge by the persistent laughter, the audience was in good spirits throughout the night.

The Ovations Series continues in the Edison Theatre at Washington University with performances into April 2014. Call the Edison Box Office at 314-935-6543 for more information, or access their website at edison.wustl.edu.

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