Trueheart: Live is a comedic look into the life of Tim Trueheart (real name; he couldn’t make that up), as he bears all in a personal hour of comedy. His jokes are irreverent, sometimes more than warrants charm, but when he is at his best, Trueheart’s immaturity hides hidden depth that speaks to what it is to be an adult and what it means to have responsibility.
This is layered joke telling that makes you laugh and makes you think, and Trueheart’s passion and energy are absolutely unflinching. His care and respect for his art are unmistakable, and that carries the performance from beginning to end.
The jokes here hit and miss, like any comedy act, but in each one is a very strong foundation. Some are just held back by muddling themselves in a longer train of thought or taking a little too long to get to the point. Trueheart does some excellent character work (a favorite being his “straight-ish” Love Doctor) but his dialogue can grow aimless after three bits in a row that lean on it.
Spacing out these character routines would have made each of them pop a little bit more. It’s little, structural things like that that put a bit of a foggy lens over the very bright comedy that Trueheart brings to the table.
Written and performed by Tim Trueheart
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The biggest wish I had for the show was a little more narrative structure. It walked the line between stand up and storytelling, and it was at its best when it had a foot in both camps. In many ways, this was a coming of age story, a fabulously funny foray into growing up, even if the world already tells you you’re an adult. But it was a little too scatterbrained to hold that focus. Any good story rooted memory and about the past will jump around, sure, but what sets the really special ones apart is an emotional through line that ties everything together.
With a little more finesse and structure, Trueheart: Live could be a phenomenal hour of comedy. As it is now, it’s an inconsistent hour, but a thoroughly funny one nonetheless. And, most importantly, it has heart, even though sometimes it’s a little too scared to show it. But when it becomes comfortable with itself, the routine shines with bravery and earnestness.
As Trueheart explains, the mere act of performing is like getting in a ring. And showing up to the fight is itself a triumph, even if you get knocked out. So it’s time for a victory lap, for sure. But don’t let it get in the way of getting right back in the ring.