Rob Raffety’s been waiting for what we have all been waiting for — which is to say, for the fate which awaits us all. Poor Rob has been diagnosed with Brain Crabs, and so is reminded that he, like the rest of us (so far) is mortal. But every catastrophe is an opportunity, at least at the Fringe, so Rob uses his to explore — and by “explore” I mean celebrate — his own personal bucket list. And also yours.
Let me explain. After doing “tens of minutes of research,” Rob has discovered that bucket lists, for most people, fall into one of six categories. He will delve into five of them during his delightful Fringe show: family, animals, awe and profundity, health and wellness, and personal enrichment. (For unknown reasons he has excluded the sixth category, “sexual conquest”.)
He has also discovered that most people have two bucket lists — a public-looking one and a private one. You’ve probably guessed the difference, but if not I’ll make it explicit. The public one is the bucket list you want other people to think you have. The private one is the one you have.
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That’s where you come in. Before the show begins, you may write your own bucket list item — public and private — in each of the categories on little cards. Then you put your cards in actual buckets arrayed in front of the stage. Yours may be comic (if you haven’t guessed, this is a comedy) and you should relate your public and your private bucket item. For example, under the awe and profundity column, your public bucket item might be to contribute to the world’s enlightenment. Your private bucket item might be to lead a cult. (Don’t worry, this is not a spoiler. It was just one of the unread cards. All right, I suppose I should own it.)
What I’ve all been waiting for closes July 27, 2019. Details and tickets
Given that death overhangs the show, Raffety is surprisingly cheerful and robust. He does a little song and dance about bucket lists, without accompaniment and utterly without self-consciousness. He presents, interactively with some excellent graphics (excellent graphic designer; Oliver Ballou), a riff on his own bucket list in each category — all of which start out in the public category but quickly degenerate to the private side. These are all pretty funny, and they reach their apogee when he and his wife try to adopt a dog from an incredibly self-righteous agency. A couple of them — I’m thinking specifically of awe and profundity — go on a bit long.
After each episode Raffety reads a couple of cards from the corresponding bucket. Frankly, I don’t know whether he’s actually reading them or if he’s making them up, but at the show I attended, they were all hilarious. If he was reading your card, brother or sister, you should be getting a writing credit.
Raffety ends the show by handing out candy to everyone. This is a practice I will urge upon all Fringe practitioners, and on theaters generally, probably unsuccessfully. This appears to be Raffety’s first Fringe production. If so, he can cross “creating a very cool Fringe show” off his bucket list.
What I’ve all been waiting for . written, directed, and performed by Rob Raffety. Graphic design: Oliver Ballou . Stage manager: Lindsey Moss . Produced by Tragedy Plus Time LLC for the 2019 Capital Fringe Festival . Reviewed by Tim Treanor.