Banned in the USA took a painful hour not getting to the point, and then went 15 minutes over its scheduled time. This may be the worst fringe performance I have ever seen.
This show does not start off great, and it gets worse from there. About twenty minutes in, it is so bad that it’s somewhat amusing, but by the end of the hour, I was getting angry. I like to stay at a show to the end — I want to know how it ends, even if it is a terrible show (and this was definitely a terrible show). But then, at the end of the hour, he keeps going. He went fifteen minutes over his scheduled time (maybe it was just ten, but it felt like fifteen. No, it felt like an extra hour), and there was still no pay off.
I should have walked out.
I went to bed thinking I should have walked out. I woke up thinking I should have walked out. But if I had I wouldn’t have been sure if missed out on a great ending. I did not.
There was nothing offensive about this show, other than the fact that the artist doesn’t seem to mind wasting everyone’s time. It was just stupid. The first twenty minutes have nothing to do with anything, and it seems like this is more like an excercise in recounting events that happened, rather than any attempt to entertain, enlighten, or be provocative. I will summarize: he once got a gig at a murder mystery (and painfully recounts that performance), and then tells a story about almost missing a flight, going to a meeting, and then flying back. Nothing particularly interesting happend throughout his 75 minute version of these events, nor do the two stories reveal themselves to have anything to do with each other.
The show made me feel like I didn’t want to tell stories any more. He made me feel like telling stories was an unpleasant thing, and that you shouldn’t do it to people. It made me not want to hear other people tell stories, or go to other shows. This show wasn’t just a waste of my time, it was a poison. It was a disease.
It did one thing, though, it provoked me decide that it is very okay to walk out of a show. It taught me that walking out of a show, while perhaps a little impolite, is sometimes the right thing to do. Because some people walked out of the show before it was done. But everyone probably should have. Because there are more important things than being polite.
That’s right, this show has made me feel like it’s necessary to be less polite, and I assume the rest of the audience felt the same way. Which means that the show didn’t just suck, it made the world a less nice place.
Do not go see this show.