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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Review: The Last Straight Man in Theatre (Fringe 2011)

Reviewed by Valerie Cardinal

I didn’t know what to expect out of The Last Straight Man in Theatre, but it’s certainly not what I got – and that’s a good thing. Kurt Fitzpatrick’s one-man show was like seeing a sketch comedy troop, but all the characters are played by the same guy. Fitzpatrick creates a range of fun characters, from Miss Marie, the sassy black diner waitress to Guardino, the Venezuelan male prostitute.

He interacts with projections of pre-filmed versions of his characters, perfectly timing his responses and keeping the audience on their toes by switching characters mid-scene. The group of people he portrays all live in a wacky, weird town where everyone is a little lonely and a cat of enormous proportions is on the loose.

It’s essentially a random grab bag of sketch characters that still somehow get a miniature character arc in Fitzpatrick’s hour-long show. There isn’t much of a plot to follow. It’s just a weird night in a strange town where everyone seems to end up in Miss Marie’s diner sooner or later.

This is one for those who don’t mind their theatre scattered and non-linear. The Last Straight Man in Theatre is mostly a showcase for Fitzpatrick’s ability to switch characters at the drop of a hat. Yes, it’s a one-man show, but it’s definitely not one-character.

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