‘Truthpaste: A Blotto Biography’ at Maryland Ensemble Theatre by Mike Spain

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The crowd was ready for the debut of Tad Janes’ world premiere of Truthpaste: A Blotto Biography – advertised as “a one man comedy based on his life experiences.” Janes had a lot of support from friend and colleagues who cheered loudly and rooted for him. Their support showed the high esteem and respect the theatre community holds for Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s talented Artistic Director. It also displayed what is great about MET – it’s a great place to try out new creative works in a supportive environment.

Tad Janes in “TruthPaste.” Photo by Joe Williams.
Tad Janes in “TruthPaste.” Photo by Joe Williams.

Having a few friends and colleagues in the audience will only get you so far, because after the warm welcome the material has to hold up and sustain the laughter and applause. I am pleased to report that Tad Janes and Truthpaste did stand up. In fact, the show had the whole audience laughing for 80 minutes.

Directed by Gené Fouché, Tad plays and ‘becomes’ eight different characters. The thought-provoking  solo performance touches on homosexuality, racism, sex, religion, and so much more. Although serious issues permeate the show, the truth is – the show and Janes’ performance are funny as heck.

These crazy characters are easy to relate to – you’ve probably known one or more of them and just maybe – they are just like you! One thing is for sure – you have never seen Tad Janes like this.

Tad Janes in “TruthPaste.” Photo by Joe Williams.
Tad Janes in “TruthPaste.” Photo by Joe Williams.

First, Tad plays an L.A. movie actor and then he becomes a behind-the-scenes theatre person, who may have or have not left a ‘risque’ message on a co-worker’s voicemail. It’s a hysyterical skit.  As a blues singer Tad sings the “Hillbilly in the City Blues.” Next he plays a guy from Chicago talking about a bachelor party he threw for a very conservative friend. There’s more singing – “Dead Girl,” as he portrays a psychedelic lounge singer named Dino. Then comes A junior high health and fitness teacher named “Fuz” who is a ‘paddler, a poetry slam reader, a gay upperclassman talking to a freshman in theatre class, a skater who gets kicked out of a country club pool, and a a guy who found God as a fraternity guy in college.

Each character and song -“Feel You in Me’ had heads shaking –  is crazier and funnier, and more outrageous as the one that came before. The audience was roaring throughout the show.

Ted finished his performance playing “Bud Light Dwayne,” who is in a bar listening to “Freebird” and talking about his legacy and stories. It’s hard to write this without giving too much away. You gotta see it to believe it!

Truthpaste: A Blotto Biography is a fun and crazy, high-energy, quick-changing, real, honest, extremely funny, and one heck of a roller coaster ride. You’ll have a great time!

Running time: Approximately 80 minutes, with no intermission.

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Truthpaste: a Blotto Biography plays through March 23, 2013 at Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET) – 31 West Patrick Street, in Frederick, MD. For tickets, call the box office at (301) 694-4744, or purchase them online.