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!
Every 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.