It’s a bit of a puzzle whether Mark Whitney is an idealist with the heart of a cynic or a cynic with the heart of an idealist. He uses both like a double-barreled shotgun aimed at the Patriot Act, mandatory sentencing guidelines and other fear-mongering policies that are eroding our constitutional rights. Not the stuff of stand-up comedy unless you are Mort Sahl, Michael Moore or family man and ex-felon Mark Whitney.
What might have been an evening-long diatribe on the theme “If You’re Not Outraged You’re Not Paying Attention” bumper sticker, it is instead a more nuanced discussion centered on the real life experiences of the writer/performer. It’s a deeply compelling story told with humor and passion and anger and no small amount of befuddlement as to how easily people have handed over their rights –and apparently, their ability to think clearly — in the hopes of achieving greater safety. If, like me, you’ve never seen a commercial for the life hammer (available in a gift box, no less), you are in for a treat.
You won’t be sorry if you hop in the car and take this ride with Whitney. It’s quite a long drive from door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman to jailhouse lawyer to stand-up comedian and finally to playwright/performer. His story is filled with hilariously outrageous observations salted with moments of pain and regret.
Overall, the show is an engrossing riff on post-Constitutional America, tough on both sides of the political aisle, the Left and the Wrong. And although Whitney’s life could not be more different from that of a Joe the Plumber, he’s a more apt Everyman.
Fool for a Client
written and performed by Mark Whitney
reviewed by Gary McMillan
Read all the reviews and check out the full Capital Fringe schedule here.
Did you see the show? What did you think?