Go see Attack of the One Man Shows on Tuesday! (one night only! Act now! Other infomercial type phrases!)

by Megan Mooney

On Tuesday March 9, 2010, at the Supermarket in Kensington Market you have the opportunity to see two one-man shows for $10.  Basically you’re getting two-for-one.  And the one is very reasonably priced…

The two shows are:  Nile Seguin’s Fear of a Brown Planet and Gavin Stephens’ Spectacular! Spectacular! and the event is being put together by Nerdgasm Comedy

When I went last week Fear of a Black Planet was first up.  I loved it.  Seriously.  I loved it like crazy.  I wanna become Nile Seguin’s groupie.  In fact, I’m working on figuring out how to stalk him…

The show is kind of a hybrid between stand-up comedy and a play.  Which makes sense, Seguin is a stand-up comic.  It can be hard to review stand-up, at least, review stand-up in the Mooney on Theatre style.  I’m not gonna tell you any of the jokes, because half the joy of the show is discovering the jokes.  There’s no set or lighting design to talk about.  And, of course, what makes me laugh, may not make you laugh.

My attempt at describing Fear of a Brown Planet:  It’s bloody funny, but it also gives you something to chew on, something to think about.  The show doesn’t talk down to the audience, Seguin seems to actually trust that we’ll know what he’s talking about in various references.  He doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable stuff, and there’s certainly swearing and occasionally risqué material, this may not be something to bring your 10 year old kid to.   But none of those things are done for shock value, they just flow.  They fit.

Honestly, that’s pretty much my favourite type of show, no matter how many people are in the cast.  Make me laugh, but give me something to think about without talking down to me, then I’m yours forever .

After a brief break it was time for Gavin Stephens to take the stage.  Stephens is clearly a skilled comic who plays with the audience throughout his show.  He also has a wild amount of energy on stage.  Although his show was technically a hybrid too, his felt far more like stand-up.  There was a lot of improv and riffing off the audience.

Stephens has a bit more of an absurd approach to the stage I think.  He’s certainly a wacky character.  The show combines live performance with video, and includes hair-raising stunts.  There isn’t a clear narrative here.  It’s someone one stage having a lot of fun, and having fun with the audience.

The humour in this one tends to lean towards shock ’em and make ’em laugh.  Sometimes the laughter is a nervous "I can’t believe he said that" twitter, but often that grows into a full on ‘hey, this shit’s funny’ laugh.  But when you go, be prepared for dick jokes and poop talk and other such things. 

These two shows really are very different.  But, that’s actually kind of an opportunity.  You might be more likely to go to one over the other, but for less than the usual price for one show, you get to see both.  You get to test yourself, and you might be surprised at what you like and what you don’t.

I really recommend you go check this out on Tuesday.  There is no long-term run on this show, this showcase has been put together to record the shows.  So, check it out, ’cause who knows how long it will be before you get the chance to see these shows again.

– Attack of the One Man Shows is playing on Tuesday March 9, 2010 at The Supermarket (268 Augusta Street)
– Showtime is at 8pm, but doors open at 7pm and you can bring food and drink in from the main section of the restaurant.  It’s a reasonably small space, with rush seating, so I would recommend getting there early and enjoying a beverage while you wait
– Tickets are $10 and are available at the door, or online 
– Unfortunately there is no admittance for people under the age of 19