Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fringe: Amsterdam Abortion Survivor

Dutch comic Micha Wertheim cleverly deconstructs the standard standup show—while putting on a hilarious standup show. He interrupts a story about childhood to lambaste the audience for an imagined slight. He asserts the unreality of our present experience in the theater. He uses his foreigner status to be somehow innocently yet blatantly politically incorrect. Through all this he milks observational riches, powerful comedy, and startling (if sometimes awkward) stage business via a skewed attack on jokes and solo performance. One thread throughout Wertheim's show is an exaggerated egotism. It fits his scruffy charm and he makes us snicker with, not at, his self-satisfied attitude. Ultimately he's satifying us with welcome laughter.

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