This is a very, very, very personal sort of one man show. Yes, it’s all about its creator, Stevie Jay, but somewhere it’s supposed to be all about us – that we relate so closely and profoundly to what he is experiencing that we see ourselves in him.
I think I got that right. It’s not exactly what I experienced being at the show but it was a great bit of fun anyway. We laughed a lot and were heartily amused through most of it (speaking for my wife and myself). Stevie has some very clever bits, is an accomplished comedian with excellent timing and tells some very funny stories. At times, he has a tendency to talk a little too fast such that I missed things that others were laughing at. But that’s very minor in the larger scope of things.
I have a feeling that Stevie’s shows are probably a little different every time he does them (and he has been doing some version of this same show for 10+ years now). He works really hard at being in the moment and doing everything he can to draw the audience into that moment with him. When we are drawn in, he’s happy and it works. When we aren’t, he works harder and/or falls back on the reliable stuff – usually something about sex, sexual stereotypes, relationships dominated by sexual thoughts or perhaps just something about chakras with a strong overtone of sexual innuendo.
There is a lot of hype around Stevie being another Lennie Bruce, engaging in “dangerous hilarity,” etc. I expected him to strike a deep nerve and upset some apple carts or slay some sacred cows. I didn’t get it. Lennie Bruce does ten minutes on Eleanor Roosevelt’s tits (definitely sacred cows at the time) and kills me. Lennie would just stand up and deadpan it. Stevie jumps, dances, fiddles with his music box, uses lots of clever props and finally comes right out and says it: he just wants to be loved. That I got.
But there was something missing – at least during the performance I attended. Based on what I read on his website, past performances contained intensely personal stuff that was actually happening “real-time” in Stevie’s life. It was so real-life confessional (and yet clearly molded into some form of comic story or routine) that people were honestly moved in the way Stevie wants to move them.
That is not what happened last night. What happened last night was Stevie Jay, an accomplished comedian and very energetic, genuinely engaging and amusing guy, doing a polished act and saying some pretty funny stuff.
life, love, sex, death …. has 4 more performances at The Shop – Fort Fringe, 607 New York Ave, NW, Washington, DC.
Larry rates this 3 out of 5
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