The press release for What About Albert? had me at hello:
An absurdist comedy. A Godot inspired fever dream! Pick and Pod are two helpless part timers trapped in a restaurant that may or may not exist…
And the website offered the following advisory: Content Warning This show may depict existential dread and gore.
Be still my heart.
If Waiting for Godot is nihilism dressed in the somber, tattered suit of Chaplin-era tramps, this is a self aware romp of quick wit, wearing the face paint of a fast food franchise spokes-clown.
The script is artfully fast paced, like Gilmore Girls or Aaron Sorkin. No easy feat for writer Xander Chung or performers Jordan Prentice (Pod), Fanny Dvorkin (Pick) and Joseph Ste-Marie (Billy – puppet by Samantha Gold); it’s a trick that only shines when everyone’s on the same page, and here, they certainly were.
The stars delivered so much while their characters, by design, did very little. I was impressed by their performances: it was a lot of range to flex, and if they’d slipped up on the tosses and catches of the linguistic acrobatics, the whole thing would’ve collapsed. A risky prospect that succeeded wonderfully.
I definitely laughed more than expected, and the absurdly strange plot turns did not disappoint. There were truisms hidden in plain sight too, deep fried and ready for consumption.
When Pick says “Appetite and fries are all I have”, maybe I felt it a little too hard; in the end, it’s tasty experiences like this that add flavor to the weird ride we’re all on. Go check it out while it’s hot and fresh.
What About Albert? runs at the Montreal Fringe until June 19th. Tickets at MontrealFringe.ca
Photo by Joseph Ste-Marie, courtesy of The Malicious Basement Theatre Company