Sketch my drift
Comic Kevin Maher sets himself an unforgiving task with 27 sketches in rapid succession in "Lone Drifter," a fast-paced one-man show crammed with both hits and misses.
By JOSHUA TANZER
"My name is Kevin Maher and I'll be your sketch group tonight," says (who else?) Kevin Maher, explaining that his mates in the comedy troupe TV Head have traded the grinding artistic struggle of New York for the grinding TV spec script struggle of L.A. So he's on his own this month.
Maher embarks on a whirlwind of short, short sketches billed as "27 characters in 50 minutes," although I gauged the time at a bit less than that. I have misgivings about this concept because at 30 seconds to two minutes apiece, many of the bits are not fully thought through. And when a one-minute characterization falls flat, which is bound to happen some of the time, it just feels like the writer-performer didn't work hard enough whatever the reality.
|Written and performed by: Kevin Maher.|
Directed by: Jeff Eyres.
Related links: Official site
341 West 44th St
May 1-31, 2002
Still, plenty of funny ideas whiz past you as the show tumbles along. Handing out sheets of paper with tiny square holes in them for you to look through, Maher gives a preview of the online show he's planning to do on the really, really small screen of web video. It's an idea that goes terribly wrong in a funny way, that is.
And the show closes with an absolutely perfect bit called "Summer Job." It's a wordless tribute to the lousiness of work, involving hidden cameras, buzzers and slices of American cheese. "Lone Drifter" may have its ups and downs (more ups than downs, I'd say), but this one piece alone lifts the level of the whole show and makes it worth your while.
|JUNE 7, 2002|
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