Review: ‘Everything’s Fine!’ at the SoLow Festival in Philadelphia

0
0

Directed by local theater artist Tommy Butler, #theaternow’s entry in Philadelphia’s 2016 SoLow Festival is New-York-based Alex Clothier’s delightfully eccentric reminiscences about his Midwestern family, Everything’s Fine! Part stand-up comedy, part autobiographical storytelling, part improvisation and audience participation, the one-hour one-man show, which premiered in March 2015, as part of Passage Theatre’s “Solo Flights” in Trenton, NJ, is laugh-out-loud funny, then unexpectedly heartwarming, as Clothier recounts personal episodes about himself and his relatives—some that they talk about, and some that they don’t!

SoLow, Everything's Fine promo imageEvery performance of the show has a unique structure, as Clothier and volunteers from the audience randomly draw pieces of paper from a jar, inscribed with names and events from his life. With each prompt he talks candidly about the subject, imitates the real-life characters, walks around the room, and ad libs freely based on audience questions and reactions. From his grandmother being hit by a train to selecting the food for his upcoming wedding, from his parents’ divorce to a childhood neighbor’s death from auto-erotic asphyxiation, Clothier (who guarantees that “90% of the stories are true!”) shares it all with a roomful of strangers, and thoroughly captivates with his wit and charm.

As the timer on his cell phone signals the end of the show, he closes with a visual surprise that is sweet, poignant, and loving, and underscores the importance of family–no matter how offbeat they are! As with all SoLow Festival shows, admission is pay-what-you-can; along with Clothier’s family-themed entertainment, #theaternow provides guests with family-style drinks and snacks. It’s all well worth the price of a generous PWYC donation.

Running Time: Approximately 60 minutes, with no intermission.

Everything’s Fine! has one more performance tomorrow, Sunday, June 26, 2016, at 2 pm, at the SoLow Fest, Philadelphia. For reservations and address, email info.theaternow@gmail.com.