With a title as convoluted as WIGGERLOVER [whiteboy+blackdad=greyareas], one might be surprised by the straightforwardness James Anthony Zoccoli’s [mostly] one man show. Despite the fact that the premise of this show is even hard to write without rambling (a comedic dissection of the grey areas in the childhood of a biologically white boy whose black stepfather [known simply as “Dad”] instils a love of African American culture in him, leading Jimmy to identify less as a Polish/Italian Caucasian and more as a white boy emulating an ebonic and hip hop background, developing an identity as a “Wigger”), this show is perfectly comprehensible and relatable. With an emotionally linear and distinctly personal coming of age story, WIGGERLOVER is a well crafted one man show with a message of acceptance presented though atypical and hilarious anecdotes.
Admittedly, Zoccoli does come off as a bit unnatural when he is acting as himself. His animation accelerates and illuminates the crowd of characters he plays, but does at times impugn on his ability to appear relaxed or believably himself. Nonetheless, his stage persona keeps the show moving at a lightning pace and never lets this show slip out of his control. Even when his humor seems a bit groan worthy or his dancing gets unbearably dorky, it’s hard not to be endeared to this great performer.
The script itself is especially entertaining; it’s not often you get to hear an honest diatribe against white people, much less by a white person, without feeling uncomfortable. It a neatly bound story, exploring every nook and cranny of race relations in his childhood. Although I wish I could have heard more about his young adult life, this desire is only a testament to Zoccoli’s engaging writing.
One of my favourite aspects in this show was the presence of DJ Gregor Mortis, who provided not only an excellent hip hop fuelled soundtrack but also acted as a chuckling sidekick, a sort of wing man to the whole show. Everything from his aloof attitude to his adept music choices was tonally consistent with the piece, adding a hip and mellow vibe throughout.
WIGGERLOVER is an enormously funny and thought provoking show. Be sure to check it out.
2013 Capital Show Fringe Preview: ‘WIGGERLOVER’ by James Anthony Zoccoli