With a devilish smile and nose for storytelling, Kevin J. Thornton could be the life of any party. In his one man show, I Love You, (We’re F*cked), he brings the audience on an uproarious, bittersweet road trip through his personal tale of love, heartbreak, and endless struggle for personal growth.
Thornton’s show is structured like a musical standup act, which plays well in the rowdy confines of Fort Fringe/Baldaccino Gypsy Bar. As the title suggests, he focuses on various loves of his life and the ways they’ve all managed to crash and burn. At first he seems to lean a bit towards easy comedy, mining the audience’s nostalgia for widely known 80’s and 90’s fads. However, it quickly becomes clear he’s just warming the room, and he summarily launches into the emotional and comedic meat of the show.
After recounting a hilarious tale of seduction through the power of Christian rock, Thornton proceeds to meander in mostly chronological fashion through the conquests and failures of the intervening years. At various junctures, he stops to throw in a song or witty observation on life, occasionally getting lost in non-sequiturs before rediscovering the underlying thread of the show. The gory “Blood Stories” section has little to do with love and loss, but it still provides some skin-crawling laughs.
The songs bear special mention for their variety and quality. Thornton covers a lot of territory, from indie rock to country to blues, reflecting his well-traveled life thus far, including his formative years in Indiana and long stints in LA and Nashville. He handles the multiple styles with aplomb, showcasing a voice that makes up for its somewhat limited range with emotion and rehearsed control.
Battle tested on the Los Angeles standup circuit as well as theatre and performance festivals around the country, Thornton is a magnetic guy who knows how to play to a crowd. From the start, highlighted by his own Michael Buffer-esque introduction (think “Let’s get rrrready to rrrrrumble!”), it is obvious the audience is in the hands of a seasoned performer. Both shockingly funny and refreshingly vulnerable, Thornton lets us laugh along with him at his troubles, that we might be able to laugh at our own and keep on truckin’.
I Love You, (We’re F*cked) has 2 more performances at The Baldacchino Gypsy Tent, Fort Fringe, 607 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC.