Monday, August 16, 2004

Fringe Day 8, Part 4 - August 13, 2004, 5:30pm

Jack & Ben's 10th Annual Bar Crawl and Moveable Feast
Joseph Scrimshaw
Brave New Workshop

Maybe I'm drinking the wrong beer. Or not enough of it.

Joseph Scrimshaw has some kind of wild artistic fuel that he runs on - and rather than ever running down, he just runs smoother and sleaker and funnier with each successive show.

This show is a one-man, seven character, losers-on-parade revue of guys who don't know when to leave the bar behind and grow up. While that may not sound compelling to you - and I wasn't so sure myself at first - trust Joseph Scrimshaw not only to inject this formula with laughs, but also with a lot of heart. Mostly broken hearts, but that just gives it an underlying sense of pathetic grace that keeps these seven very distinct characters from becoming cartoons. At root, these people are very human, and often quite sad. But even as you begin to realize this, the laughs never stop. They keep you going, and keep you rooting for these people to get a little of what they want, however misguided their attempts.

It's about people reaching out for companionship. It's about people being afraid to move on. It's about people terrified of giving up. It's about people not facing up to the fact that life may have passed them by. It's about people who resist and then embrace change, but on their own terms.

I know this might sound like the kiss of death for a comedy show but it's actually quite beautiful, the longer I think about it. And I do think about it.

I wonder where these characters came from. I wonder how one person can so seamlessly move from one character to another and still keep all seven of them distinct and very, very funny. I wonder what Joseph Scrimshaw's going to come up with next. And I wonder where I can line up to get a ticket.

Most of all, I wonder what kind of beer he's drinking. And where I can get some.

Some places you can often track down information on what Mr. Scrimshaw may be up to next are the website for Bryant Lake Bowl - - or the Brave New Workshop - - or at

(For more of my writing - plays, past blog entries and more - visit

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