58! A Comedy about Bike Messengessengering
Gig Seeker Pro

58! A Comedy about Bike Messengessengering

Band Comedy


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"58! A Comedy About Bike Messengessengering Review *Backstage Pick"

How can a play about a beleaguered young bike messenger possibly be interesting? Somehow the resourceful writer-performer Tony Mendoza manages this and more with a delightfully witty script, a bright ensemble, and tight direction from Pat McKenna.

With a droopy, hangdog expression, messy hair, dreary clothes, and no apparent future, Telly Mimosa (Mendoza) takes a job as a messenger to accommodate his nascent musical career. Alas, Telly doesn't seem to be doing too well as a messenger. He is constantly being abused by motorists, especially an arrogant man in a vintage DeLorean. When he tries to deliver packages, he is accused of passing wind in the elevator. All sorts of people instinctively harass him, including a man with a foot fetish, plus various intemperate security guards.

Then, at the urging of his boss, Telly decides to ask out a woman named Constance, who works at a company to which he makes deliveries. He develops a crush, takes on a "real job" at Constance's suggestion, fails miserably, then loses Constance in the strangely poignant ending.

Mendoza's situations are appropriately exaggerated without ever getting too absurd, and the script is laced with clever jokes and funny songs. Even better, he manages to make you care about this character, in part because Mendoza is a compelling, natural actor. He is wonderful with Thea Lux, who is perfect as the sassy, sensible Constance. In a variety of roles, Andy Hobgood, Alex Fox, and especially Dan Jessup round out the show with exuberance and panache. - Backstage Magazine, Michael Lazan

"Two-Bit Review: “58! A Comedy About Bike Messengessengering”"

An oft-maligned part of big city hustle, the bike messenger is the hero in 58! A Comedy About Bike Messengessengering, a funny, offbeat work from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre and Second City-Unhinged troupe. Writer/star Tony Mendoza plays Telly Mimosa, a bike messenger by day and musician in the band “Oh No We Left All Those Watermelons in the Storage Space!” by night. Telly spends his days riding from job to job, dodging terrible drivers, abusive security guards, cops on Segways, and a series of shady characters as he tries to make a living in a profession that offers lots of danger and frustration, but very little respect. When Telly meets Constance (the dry and witty Thea Lux), a receptionist for one of the firms where he makes deliveries, he must choose between life on a bike and life behind a desk.

The strength of the piece lies in the energy and dexterity of the actors, who can switch between dozens of roles in the blink of an eye. Alex Fox is memorable as brazen corporate vice president Gale Brown and an absentminded club emcee, while Andy Hobgood revels in playing the delightfully creepy Foot Fetish Phil and an office manager obsessed with the employee handbook. Dan Jessup’s DeLorean-driving road menace inspires a great Back to the Future reference, and his inexplicable turn as a goat earns some of the biggest laughs of the night. As the leads, Mendoza and Lux are excellent foils for each other, although some of their improvised interactions were a little rough around the edges. Creatively staged by director Pat McKenna, 58! is a comedy that will inspire a little more empathy and respect for bike messengers. - Broadway.com, Sarah Hague

"Tony Mendoza’s "58! A Comedy about Bike Messengessengering" at 2006 International Fringe Festival"

Welcome to Tony Mendoza's nightmare! You see them whizzing by you on the street. Sometimes they almost run you over. They are abusive, angry and foul mouthed, but in a real way they are part of the life blood of any city and without them cities would screech to a halt. They are bike messengers.

One of the Fringe Festival's offerings, simply called 58!, gave us one week in the life of Chicago bike messenger Telly Mimosa, played by real life messenger Tony Mendoza who also wrote 58!. Mr. Mendoza, who play's drums for Second City and is a faculty member of Chicago's Annoyance theater, also has a band called "Let's get out of this terrible sandwich shop." He started “messengering” six years ago and has incorporated many of his experiences and verbatim exchanges into 58!

Staged very simply, the only real prop in the play is Tony's track bike, which in real life, was his actual work bike. The play opens with Tony waking up to the sound of the radio on Monday morning. He sleeps on a futon and does not seem particularly enthusiastic about starting his day. Perhaps this is because anything can happen in a day in the life of a bike messenger. Mr. Mendoza has surrounded himself with a very talented supporting cast of improv actors who deftly stream on and off the stage in a variety of character parts. Tony is variously subjected to abuse and derision by a Napoleonic security guard, a Lamborghini-driving-punk, a creepy foot fetishist who pays him to smell his shoes, an obnoxious office jock who walks around squeezing a football and a coke-sniffing-harpy who babbles incoherently between sneezes.

Thea Lux is Tony's romantic interest and the two of them generate some genuine chemistry as they struggle to create a relationship amidst all of this chaos. Most if not all of the incidents in the play actually happened. Mr. Mendoza's reactions to the pretentious people around him are scathing and droll at the same time. His last line of defense is his sense of humor, which allows him to remain somewhat sane.

A sample of Mr. Mendoza's humor may be found in the in the following excerpt from the song entitled "Bike Lane":

Every time I'm on a ride there seems to be a car
In the bike lane
And if you don't watch out you'll have a brand new scar
In the bike lane

Traffic is a drag, it's a dopey goat
So be sure to block the way with your blimpy boat
In the bike lane
You're in the bike lane

If your window gets shattered look at my U lock
You're in the bike lane
And the shards cut your throat no need to be in shock
You were in the bike lane

A gushy gushy gash and some teeth in your lap
You're losing so much blood you're going to need a nap
In the bike lane
You're in the bike lane

If your wife has my cock in her healthy mouth
You're in the bike lane
And she screams my name and cums, don't pout
You're in the bike lane
The paramedics saying that it looks awful dire
Especially when you're trapped in a car on fire
In the bike lane
You're in the bike lane

Noel Coward it isn't, but funny it is, especially with Mr. Mendoza's dry and ambivalent delivery.

For years this often misunderstood subculture has been depicted with varying degrees of success. Quicksilver, one of the most ludicrously inept films ever made, starred Kevin Bacon as a fallen trader trying to "find" himself as a bike messenger in the go-go eighties. Even Lawrence Fishburne, playing a stereotypical thugged-out homeboy, could not save that turkey. It is a miracle Mr. Bacon's career survived. In the mid nineties, a messenger sitcom staring Adam Goldberg called "Double Rush" actually proved to be well intended and funny. But It was never given a chance to develop and was cancelled after half a season.

Alex Fox as the coke-sniffer, Andy Hobgood as foot-fetish guy and Dan Jessup as the football-squeezing-corporate-ladder-climber all have unerring instincts when it comes to comedy. Mr. Jessup's versatility was especially striking; he definitely has a gift for physical comedy. His bit as the Segway riding cop was hilarious.

Patrick McKenna’s direction was swift and efficient, there are few dull moments. We are looking forward to hopefully seeing more from the Common theater at next year’s "Fringe". - NewYorkCool.com, John Harris

"58 *Reader Recommended"

Are bike messengers born or made? Among the ranks of self-identified martyrs, there's no more determinedly antiheroic figure, or more fiercely voluntary social exile. Writer, performer, and messenger Tony Mendoza has a great handle on the comic contradictions of the typical two-wheeled warrior's goofy/grave persona, and is immensely watchable as the anchor of this urban picaresque. His supporting cast of seasoned sketch and improv players handily flesh out a rogues' gallery of asshole grotesques, and director Pat McKenna keeps things ticking along at a steady clip. This is pretty funny as bitch-about-my-job, trials-and-tribulations tales go; ultimately its shop-talk specificity gets a little wearying, and the story deliberately goes nowhere, but it rings true all the way through the realistically desultory finish. - Chicago Reader, Brian Nemtusak

"58 *Newcity Pick"

What little I know about bike messengers I learned from the boyfriend of an old roommate. His body was covered in scabs, and he had his number tattooed on his knuckles, which seemed a rather permanent declaration of bike messengerhood. But it is less a job than a point of view: a certain superiority--I get to ride my bike while you're cooped up inside all day--coupled with a hostility aimed at office types and incompetent drivers.Tony Mendoza gets down the nitty-gritty in his comedy "58," now running Thursday nights in the Annoyance Theatre's new space in Uptown. Mendoza has a cheerfully hangdog mien that gives an extra lift to some of his best putdowns, and there are some killer lines in the show. There are also plenty of strained performances by the rest of the cast, who are relegated to playing variations on obnoxiousness. Eventually, Mendoza begins dating a cubicle dweller (Thea Lux, giving a funny, low-key, bitchy-girl delivery) and, at her urging, he quits the streets in favor of florescent lighting and a workplace dress code, which he promptly shits on every chance he gets. We all know about the life-sucking force of the corporate world, and you have to wonder why Mendoza abandoned the originality of his material to tread waters better navigated by "The Office." It is around this point that the show begins to feel long-winded--despite director Pat McKenna's efforts to keep things moving--but Mendoza¹s stage presence is unique and appealing throughout, and he offers a sardonic glimpse into the subculture of bike messengers. - Newcity Chicago, Nina Metz

"Don't Roadkill the Messenger *TimeOut Chicago Recommended"

Narrowly avoiding overzealous DeLorean drivers and their wing doors. Facing off against power-tripping security guards. Dodging relentless foot fetishists. It’s all in a day’s work for…a bike messenger?

So says Tony Mendoza, creator and hero of 58!, the Annoyance’s new sketch tribute to the harrowing and underappreciated lives of bike messengers everywhere.

Mendoza plays Telly Mimosa, messenger No. 58, whose lifestyle is on the brink of consuming him. Each turn leads him to a new obstacle, both on and off the bike path. From his spot at the bottom of the totem pole, he’s run off the road by SUVs, blatantly disrespected by office workers and directed to the freight elevator by doormen.

Things get complicated when Telly works up the nerve to ask out Constance, the friendly, sarcastic receptionist who never fails to brighten his day. She agrees to check out Telly’s band, Oh No We’ve Left All the Watermelons in the Storage Space, and romance blossoms.

Despite Constance’s reservations about Telly’s pent-up aggression, she goes out on a limb and secures him an opportunity to give “real work” a try. After a few days, Telly is forced to choose between the boring life of a regular office guy, with Constance hanging in the balance, or the bittersweet existence of a bike messenger without her.

Mendoza himself chose the latter (though he managed to nab the girl, Thea Lux, who plays Constance). He’s been slinging parcels from his handlebars for six years, over which time he amassed his fair share of, well, creative inspiration. “This show has always been ‘that project’ for me, the one I’ve wanted to get off the ground,” says Mendoza, whose material is rooted in autobiographical events. “People don’t realize messengers are treated like garbage, and that it’s mostly accepted.”

Both an Annoyance company member and lead singer of the band Let’s Get Out of This Terrible Sandwich Shop, Mendoza got into bike messengering almost on a whim. He sold his car in late 1999 and gave up his job as a trolley tour driver. Realizing he hadn’t been on a bike since his childhood, he decided to try messengering next. “My relationship with messengering is very love/hate,” Mendoza says. “Twice, I’ve been so fed up that I quit to do normal office stuff. I’ve lasted five days, and run my bike over work papers in the process.”

58! opens on Thursday 20 as one of the Annoyance’s five inaugural shows in its new Uptown digs. Once located on Clark Street in Lakeview, the storied, irreverent improv troupe had been sans building since 2001. It remained a vibrant part of Chicago’s comedy, continuing to offer its highly respected improv training program, even while on a producing hiatus.

Annoyance company members, including Mendoza, got involved with other projects in the interim, but are eager to get back on the Annoyance stage. “We had a run of our show last year at Unhinged [Second City’s annual showcase of emerging improv and sketch performers], but we’ve been ready to go for the theater’s opening for a while,” Mendoza says.

He and his ensemble (who enlist their most extreme comedic impulses to pull off an impressive character span) are penciled in through September. Other runs, like the Annoyance’s own Grabass and the notorious Messing with a Friend, are open at the moment.

The new theater is expected to make a big splash; so what’s to become of Mendoza should 58! take off? He has ideas for another show rooted in his experience as a desert DJ in the Coachella Valley, and a devotion to spreading his band’s ’60s beats (“We’re more than just a ridiculous name”). But for the time being, the bike messenger’s siren song is just too much to resist.

“Right before you called, I was taking a nap in the shade outside,” Mendoza says. “There aren’t many jobs out there where you can do that.” - TimeOut Chicago, Steve Heisler


Not Applicable


Feeling a bit camera shy


Originally presented as a workshop production by Second City Unhinged, Chicago, “58!” is currently playing at The Annoyance, and has just returned from winning the Outstanding Musical Award at the 2006 New York International Fringe Festival.

Based on the experiences of real-life Chicago Bike Messenger, Tony Mendoza, we follow the rollercoaster life of Telly Mimosa as he dodges abusive security guards, bullying buses, Segway cops and street weirdos with dumb fetishes. In this dangerous vocation, Telly is forced to face his own humanity as the rest of the world stands defiantly in his bike’s path. He gets a second wind from a strangely hopeful receptionist who helps him see people instead of pedestrians. This new path is even more treacherous because now he must choose between a fixed life as a name or the break-neck life as a number. Performed at the pace of a hot, direct delivery, Tony Mendoza and Thea Lux play out the grounded relationship of Telly and Constance while Daniel Jessup, Alex Fox and Andrew Hobgood juggle sixty characters between the three of them to fill in the ever-looming insanity that surrounds Telly’s everyday life.

TONY MENDOZA, Writer & Actor
Tony Mendoza is an ensemble and faculty member of Chicago's Annoyance Theater. He plays drums for The Second City and a 1968 Farfisa keyboard for his own band, Let's Get Out of This Terrible Sandwich Shop. For the last six years Tony has supplemented his income as a bike messenger.

THEA LUX, Actor (Constance)
Thea Lux has been doing some form of comedy in Chicago since 2001, whether it's been improvising, acting, writing, or wielding a guitar in a one-lady show. She's currently a writer at Jellyvision, creators of the game "You Don't Know Jack." This summer she played music on a massive aluminum truck in Red Moon Theater’s production of "The Balloon Man." She also performs in the band Let's Get Out of This Terrible Sandwich Shop. Her name is mispronounced often, she is a painter, and bikes to work.

ALEX FOX, Actor (Gale Brown, Various)
After graduating form Emerson College in Boston, Alex Fox came to Chicago where she trained with The Annoyance, Second City Conservatory and Music Program and I.O. Alex performs all over the city with her 3 person dream team "Be Frank" who recently performed in the Los Angeles Improv Festival and will be making their way to the Toronto Improv Festival in August. Alex is also a member of the 4 woman improv group "Chewties" who can be seen this summer at The Del Close Marathon and the Ann Arbor Improv Festival. Miss Fox plays every weekend at Stage Left Theatre with PH Productions doing short form fast paced, high energy, kick ass improv. Or if you have a hankering to check out Independent Television festivals you can see her on screen at both the New York and Los Angeles Festivals in the comedic pilot "Almost Funny". Alex also likes fan kicks, the thug life and sushi...a lot.

DANIEL JESSUP, Actor (Goat, Various)
Dan has spent the past four years in Chicago, studying and researching to be in 58. With time at The Annoyance, IO, Second City-Unhinged, The Apollo Theatre and others, he has had the good fortune of working with very talented people on both the improvisational and scripted fronts. As part of Common Theater Company, Dan has continued to perform as well as instruct, while spending most of his improv time with the troupe Be Frank. Other Chicago ventures include work with Rubicon Theatre Project and Stockyards Theatre Project. East of Lake Michigan, he can be seen hosting events for ToyBox Theatre Company in New York. To run 58 as part of The Annoyance’s re-opening is a privilege. Thank you Tony and The Annoyance family for the opportunity.

ANDREW HOBGOOD, Actor (Foot-Fetish Phil, Various)
Andrew Hobgood moved to Chicago in the fall of 2002 to pursue his acting career. Since then he has had the fortune of working with and studying under some of Chicago's finest teachers, actors and improvisers. He is co-founder and Artistic Director of the Common Theater Company. You can also see him perform with improv troupes Be Frank and Melange. This winter, he will be directing "Cabaret" at the Starlight Theater in Florida.

Patrick McKenna is astonished to be allowed to play any part in any show that the cast of "58!" is willing to perform. He is ashamed to have been involved with any other production. Those productions include "Sucker, a One-Person Show." "The Shadow" at the Athenaeum. "Kill the Messenger" at the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival and a slew of improv shows at iO Chicago (formerly Improv Olympic), Second City Communications and Comedy Sports. He wrote and co-starred in the short films "Salt" and "Holy Cow" (Austin Film Festival 2004). He owes everything to his wife, his family, his god, and now you.