The in-character programs are genius. Revel in its glory.
Right, the show itself, right:
This show hits the nail right on the head in so many ways. The jokes are like precision nuclear strikes of satire, leaving swaths of trope devastation in the aftermath.
Last minute Fringe nightmares? Check. Overly optimistic ambitions for what can be accomplished on the technical side? Check. Overinflated ego? Check. Therapy onstage? Check. A tear-down of every bad solo-show habit in existence? Check.
Which is to say nothing of the lovely rapport between Matt and Jim. Their timing is impeccable, from every one of Jim’s beleaguered groans to Matt’s interpretive dance shimmies. There are also several brilliant gags that make use of the space in really creative ways. I’m just going to say Indiana Jones and leave it at that.
And of course it has to go and be poignant too, going a little deeper into the neuroses that drive people to create shows like this – hell, that drive people to create in general. One of the big themes of this show that really resonated with me was about how sometimes, directly communicating with people is very hard. Sometimes, an expensive, over-the-top piece of “art” is somehow easier.
This show will work best on those who have produced at Fringe before. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy it if you haven’t, but the more familiar you are with the subject material, the more mileage you’ll get out of it. Some jokes that will seem purely silly to one person will be bitingly satirical to another.
There was a transition from being in tech rehearsal to being in performance that was a little jarring. I was unsure that the transition had even happened until a couple minutes in. Not a huge issue, but the ambiguity took me out a tad.
Your mileage may also vary depending on your tolerance for novelty songs. For my personal tastes, “Smellay Lahk A Turkey” began to wear thin after the first chorus, mostly because I wanted to go back to the beyond hysterical banter between Matt and Jim.
Oh, what a tasty skewering of Fringe and solo shows we have here. Blackboxing is absurd but at the same time so painfully true that anyone familiar with the subject matter will be delighted.