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      Outside the Comfort Zone
    To each his zone

    Steve Bird pays tribute to the world's brilliant misfits — and those who merely think they're brilliant — in the one-man show "Ouside the Comfort Zone."


    First of all, I'd better get this review right because otherwise I'll probably by skewered in Steve Bird's next one-man show. The current one, "Outside the Comfort Zone" features a succession of characters including a frustrated old theater critic who has his own web site just so he can vent his hostilities on unsuspecting off-off-Broadway performers in the hope that it will somehow brighten his own miserable, pointless existence.

    Written and performed by: Steve Bird.
    Ouch. The truth hurts.

    Bird's show doesn't exactly coalesce around a clear theme, but if one recurring idea can be identified, maybe it's the one that starts the whole show: that it takes the misfits of the world to create anything really worthwhile. But, you might object, just because you're a misfit doesn't automatically make you a creative genius. Bird has thought of this too. He seems to have a special warm spot in his heart for the character who's been there when others got their big breaks. Gillian Anderson, for one, does not make an appearance in this show, but another struggling actor who wants to tell you all about when he worked with her waiting tables at Dojo does. Whether he's portrayed with love, contempt or just self-recognition, you can decide for yourself.

    The show is not an unqualified success itself — it's more a personal broodfest that sometimes hits its mark dead-on and has a few flashes of comic brilliance. You can almost feel the dark, late-night meditations when the rest of the world is asleep, in which Bird pours his anxieties out onto paper, sure that some of it will connect with somebody out there.

    Kind of like the way this web site is put together. Ouch again.

    MARCH 25, 2000

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