Adelaide Fringe Festival: Awkward

Perth comedian, Zack Adams is worth getting out of bed for. He’s even worth the 27 & a half flights of stairs you have to climb to get to the cozy rooftop venue, The Tuxedo Cat in the heart of Adelaide – Rundle Street.
Adelaide Fringe Festival: Awkward
I gotta admit, I really did not want to go out last night, suffering as I was, with “End-of-fringe-itis.” Instead, I was happily snuggled up in bed wearing the new silk PJs mummy had given me for her birthday, reading my latest vampire romance novel*, & weeping my wee eyes out cos Stella had just realised that CC as well as being a vamp, was a complete bastard, & had to stake him even though she was carrying his— …Hmmm, did I type that out loud. {Cricket chirps ... Silence ... More crickets} Ooops! Awkward. Thankfully Perth comedian, Zack Adams is worth getting out of bed for. He’s even worth the 27 & a half flights of stairs you have to climb to get to the cozy rooftop venue, The Tuxedo Cat in the heart of Adelaide – Rundle Street. The show begins with a fast song telling us about himself, the show, & then it ends abruptly. Quick cuts & clunky segues are an endearing signature of Adams’ style. The first third of the show is a series of stories or songs or song-stories (for he sings parts, then talks for a bit, or sings then intercuts his own lyrics with clever/quirky/just plain weird asides to the audience … or silence … or a look) all of which detail awkward moments in Adams’ life. My only criticism is that in this first third, the balance between songs & talking doesn’t quite gel. It feels a bit too much i.e., not enough tunes. But it is a minor note. There’s the Sony Walkman for Xmas saga; the erotic thoughts on shop front mannequins confessional; & the Year 2 Nativity Play trauma. However, these are mere entrees to the goodies that will come. Very funny, very tasty entrees – oh but what treats await. [DISCLAIMER: the song names which follow are what I’ve dubbed them based on darkness-scrawled notes & may not be the actual song titles] His Lovesong Zack Adams Style & very wrong paean to his ex-girlfriend who Kinda Looks A Lot Like You are both painfully funny. There’s a great joke where the punch line is “permed orangutan” which is barfingly good. Great comic songs keep coming. The surreal Awkward Silence Solo (isn’t it technically a duo since it’s between Zack & us – the audience?). The Song of Outrageous Fact is a riot (anyone who can get racist flamingoes, Mr T & the etymology of the phrase “so hungry I could eat a horse” in the same song deserves – Big Thing status (see below). Robot Onstage. Short. Surreal. Brilliant. Graveyard of Forgotten Jokes. “Your groans only make me stronger” he taunts us. We like it. Adams’ musicianship is solid, his voice versatile & powerful. At times I found myself even comparing it to Mick Thomas from top ozrock band, Weddings, Parties, Anything. But without doubt it is the quirkiness & cleverness of his ideas that truly wins the day. The dark, disturbing, weird, fun & clever song lyrics are the solar plexus of his act. In his penultimate song, entitled The Next Big Thing, Zack pines for the fact that he’s not as famous as he should be. Well. He deserves to be. And if he does hit pay-dirt this year, I’ll be able to say I was there – for the last few minutes of his 10-years-in-the-making-“Overnight-Success”. Finally, Comedy Lullaby. This is a ‘song’ accompanied by the most delicate dark disturbed black bleak beautiful & tender cartoons you are ever likely to see. It is a sublime ending to a thoroughly rewarding night. When I looked around briefly, well over half the audience were out of their seats, leaning forward, eager to read the next one. Admittedly the screen was kinda small, but people were craning more out of delight than short sightedness. Trust me. His infectious (in a good way) friendly persona left the audience feeling warm, full & fuzzy – like we’d just eaten a big home cooked meal & were now sitting in front of a winter fire. Or like when you finish Stakeout & you read that Stella discovers Roy the impotent garlic farmer has been in love with her all along & really wants kids – yay! I finished the book when I got home! {Crickets} Um, pretend I didn’t mention that, won’t you. Please? *[No, not Twiligh. Now that really would have been awkward.] Awkward Zack Adams Adelaide Fringe Festival The Tuxedo Cat March 10-22

glen r johns

Friday 20 March, 2009

About the author

glen r is currently the General Manger of Cirkidz Inc, Adelaide's premier youth circus. He also is a writer, director & film maker. He was Creative Director of Southern Youth Theatre Ensemble for 5 years (2004-08). In that time he wrote & directed many productions & smaller outcomes for the company; ran hundreds of workshops (both onsite & for community partners); taught comedy, physical theatre, scriptwriting, film-making & stilt-walking among other skills; & made countless bad jokes.