What you see is what you get with Adam Schwartz, who references his lack of a filter and propensity for truth-telling repeatedly in his stand-up fringe show, Aspergers: More Tales of a Social Misfit. Playing the Annex Theatre as part of this years Toronto Fringe Festival, Schwartz’s short set is a set-up-and-knock-down series of jokes about how his Aspergers affects his life, what he’s learned and, of course, his mother.
Schwartz’s schtick isn’t the most complex or nuanced in the world, but he’s good-natured about his experiences and offers them with plenty of classic comedic self-deprecation but not even a whiff of self-pity. There’s an appealing honesty in a man who cannot pretend to conform and doesn’t try, but instead uses his various divergences as joke fodder. His observations aren’t bad but the real zingers are the jokes for which he cleanly sets up an expectation based on social norms… and then explains what he did. There’s a bit about what he learned in Social Skills class that left me laughing an hour later when I thought about it again. Not to mention, I was glad as heck to see this piece of work made by someone neurodivergent, rather than another dozen pieces about them.
There’s perhaps a little more repetition in Aspergers: More Tales of a Social Misfit than I would have preferred, but that too is a hallmark of Aspergers, so points for authenticity to Mr. Schwartz. At the end of the day, though, a comedy show is mostly a pass/fail experience – the comedian is funny or they’re not; the jokes are good or they aren’t. He is, and they are. Pass, for sure.
- Aspergers: More Tales of a Social Misfit plays at the Annex Theatre. (736 Bathurst St.)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route which requires a staff escort. Check in at the box office at least 15 minutes prior to showtime.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Thursday July 5th, 10:30 pm
- Saturday July 7th, 7:30 pm
- Sunday July 8th, 12:30 pm
- Tuesday July 10th, 8:00 pm
- Wednesday July 11th, 3:30 pm
- Thursday July 12th, 5:15 pm
- Saturday July 14th, 11:00 pm
image provided by the company