AnimalParts Theatre: Tenderpits
Canadian-born and New York City-based performer Anthony Johnston is a wizard. The kind of wizard who wears a dirty nappy, has a sparkling butt and masturbates to a game of Zelda.
Directed by Nathan Schwartz, this multimedia performance is an autobiographical coming-of-age story of sorts, mixing absurd fantasy with powerful truth. Johnston takes us from his journey from boy to man, travelling from a rural part of Canada - supposedly on the back of a mystical, drunken moose - to the big, mean streets of NYC. He is sometimes silly, singing a song from The Little Mermaid or describing in graphic details his sexual adventures. Phone calls from his nagging sister interrupt the oddball madness and lead Johnston to open up about his family, his grandmother and the cancer that ails her.
The thin line between poignant and weird may confuse some viewers; a man in a diaper yelling ‘CANCER KILLS’ at a simulated performance of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters does not work for everybody. Johnston and director Schwartz’s Fringe debut’s is still imperfect, but the duo must be commended for taking a lot of risks and delivering a show that is different, original, bold, often hilarious and definitely worth checking out.