Fringe 2018 review: 'Dammit, Jim!' is admirably open and honest

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As someone who has seen every single Star Trek episode ever broadcast (excluding a couple of seasons of Enterprise that violated the Geneva Conventions against torture) I probably embody the target demographic for Polly Esther’s Dammit, Jim! I'm a Comedienne, Not a Doctor!, an alternatively spacey and serious stand-up routine about sci-fi and sobriety. Wearing gold spandex and a succession of vintage Trekkie t-shirts while wielding little more than a stuffed Tribble, Esther ushers us through her entire life story, from watching Captain Kirk reruns with her chain-smoking Grandma, through gaining a cinematic education (and alcohol addiction) with her ex-husband, to discovering Picard and pals in an epic two-year binge-watch. Esther’s story climaxes at a Vegas fan convention, where she tearfully outs herself as a Friend of Bill W. in front of her favorite D-list DS9 celebrities.

Since I’m a fellow fanboy, I could empathize with a lot of Esther’s experiences, and in Orlando I know I’m not alone: If you’re apt to spontaneously shout when the JJ Abrams-verse is mentioned, this is the show for you. Objectively, as a Fringe freshman and relative newcomer to one-woman shows, she could really use an editor to help shape her story’s dramatic arc, smoothing the rough transitions and tightening the coda, so it sounds more like a theatrical narrative than an enthusiastic stranger describing their vacation.



Looking past the lack of polish, Polly is admirably open and honest on stage, and you can’t fake the emotion in her eyes as she describes connecting with fellow fan/addicts. I really hope Esther lives long and prospers … but even her urging isn’t going to get me to pay CBS extra to watch Star Trek Discovery.

Dammit, Jim! I'm a Comedienne, Not a Doctor!
Polly Esther – Toronto, Ontario Canada
13 & Up – Strong Language, Mature Themes
Purple Venue
60 Minutes
Friday, May 18th 8:30pm
Saturday, May 19th 10:00pm
Sunday, May 20th 5:00pm
Tuesday, May 22nd 10:00pm
Thursday, May 24th 8:30pm
Saturday, May 26th 11:00pm
Sunday, May 27th 8:00pm




Check out ALL of our Fringe 2018 reviews at orlandoweekly.com/fringe2018

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