MiSTLetoe Variety SHow - St. Louis Comedians
Reviewed By Kat Whalen
MiSTLetoe Variety Show, brought to the Fringe by the St. Louis Comedians company, is an uneven show with great promise. It opened with a stand-up comic, followed by 2 improv routines which change every evening. Ella Fritz, who describes herself as neuro-diverse and queer, is very funny, if very, very blue, but her set would benefit from some work on presentation. In the middle of a set, for example, she attempted to interview a couple in the audience but was unable to find anything funny to work with, so abruptly abandoned them and returned to the set. She also varies her pitch and volume, which makes her set compelling, but when she flung out her arms while speaking, the microphone was too far away from her mouth to catch what it is she was saying. Conversely, when she yelled with the microphone held to her face, it was jarring loud and incomprehensible. But these are resolvable issues which, when worked out, will result in fine performances.
While one of the improv sets was quite successful the night the reviewer saw the show, the other never quite gelled. In the first, 2 cast members, posed as music box vendors at a a Seattle food market. Though positing that the boxes took over 200 hours to create and that they cost $1000 apiece, they never really found the humor in the situation. The other two, though, situated in a car driving to a burger joint, ranged over a number of topics, including politics, broken bones, and sex resumes to very good effect. Here, again, however, some attention to presentation would benefit the performers. One of the performers frequently spoke seemingly to himself, and with his head down, so no one could hear him. This was a real loss, as he was frequently introducing new subjects for his partner to respond to.This comedy troupe deserves attention, and with some attention to the audience experience, will surely achieve success as it matures.