Tuxedo Cat’s Mayall Room, Sat Feb 21
Dr. Professor Neal (no idea why the titles which were never mentioned) is a madcap, chaotic character comedian with a style that people would either love or hate, which is evident in the broad range of reviewers’ star ratings.
Opening the show was Maria, Neal’s “grandmother” sweeping the theatre space to make sure we had a “clean show”. She was zany and fun, with her endless selection of cleaning implements (not to mention huge beard). We then meet other members of Neal’s “family” in an array of characters with clumsy and clunky transitions included in the fray. Most of the segments had little apparent content and some had no content at all but relied on Neal’s generous appeal and spontaneity to make them funny.
Many of the audience were laughing heartily throughout though I found it a bit under-developed. It was like watching an acting student’s impromptu dress-up with funny voices, a mish-mash of ideas about what might be funny and let’s not bother much about any punch-lines or writing for it, we’ll just wing it on the night. Neal is very endearing, however, and manages to get his audience to be amazingly compliant and get involved in the show.
The plunger dance deserves mention and the rubber chicken anthem was a great silly finale, with the innovative mic stand getting special mention. For people who like chaotic, clowny unstructured lounge-room comedy, and many do, this is definitely for you. I prefer more punch-lines and wittiness in my comedy but I still enjoyed Neal’s audience interaction, defiant zaniness and exuberant enthusiasm. What he lacks in structure he makes up for in whacky fun and is very likeable.
I can appreciate that this was not quite my thing but still enjoyed parts of it and the audience enjoyed it a lot.
Dr. Professor Neal Portenza’s Catchy Show Title continues at Tuxedo Cat’ Mayall Room until Sun Mar 15
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.