Fringe review: Well … Since You Asked

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It’s a general rule of life that if you ever encounter someone who proudly calls himself “opinionated,” you should run very swiftly in the opposite direction. And if said person declares that other folks actively solicit his colorful opinions

well, that’s usually when I start looking around for the nearest wooden stake or silver bullet.

This is the precedent Kate O’Neal has to surmount in her Well

Since You Asked, a program of standup and songs in which she purports to shoot from the hip, take no prisoners and filet up a bunch of sacred cows. And all of it (she says with tongue firmly planted in her cheek) is being done by request.

Though the show was co-written and directed by accomplished funnyman (and veteran Fringe show doctor) Jay Hopkins, its effect is less than fully persuasive. O’Neal’s opinions are too often softball swipes at less-than-controversial topics, like botox. (She’s against it. Hope you were sitting down.) And curiously, for an extended stretch, she all but abandons her theme in favor of straight-up autobiography. This material is promising but underdeveloped: Anecdotes don’t pay off as we expect, and some initially intriguing characters aren’t fleshed out properly. For instance -- and I never thought I would say this of any human being walking the face of this Earth -- I’d really like to hear more about her kids. They sound like a lively bunch, whether they’re feigning disfigurement for fun or rising gamely to her challenge that they conduct all of their household squabbling in Cockney accents.

The musical interludes are by far the highlight of the show. O’Neal has a terrific set of pipes, and while the narrative rationale for each number isn’t always clear, she approaches all of them with pitch-perfect panache. Next time, I’d like to see her attempt a more straightforward cabaret act, with the between-song patter scaled way back and polished to the endearing shine of which she is clearly capable.

That’s just my opinion, anyway. Thanks for asking.

 

Well

Since You Asked

Richard Paul Presents/Pink Hair Productions - Windermere, FL

 

Show Schedule:

Thursday 17 May; at 7:00pm in the Brown

Saturday 19 May; at 3:30pm in the Brown

Sunday 20 May; at 11:15pm in the Brown

Monday 21 May; at 6:45pm in the Brown

Tuesday 22 May; at 7:15pm in the Brown

Friday 25 May; at 7:45pm in the Brown

Saturday 26 May; at 12:45pm in the Brown

 

Price: $8 + Fringe Button (good for entire Fringe)

Discount(s): Students|Seniors|Women over 50 Wearing Leopard Clothing

Rating: G-14

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