Indy Fringe part 4: Strickland irresistible

August 27, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

 

An open letter to Paul Strickland:

Dear Paul,

I hope you don’t mind me calling you Paul. We haven’t really met except to exchange some greetings in passing through this year’s Indy Fringe Festival.

Each year, I have hopes of seeing more Indy Fringe shows than I actually do. Most of the time, the ones that get sacrificed are the one-person shows. I’ve got nothing against storytellers or stand-up comics. I am a great admirer of practitioners of both forms. I just seem to gravitate toward other options come Fringe-time.

Yet every once in a while I’m reminded of the artistry and the joy of the single-voiced arts. That happened this morning at your show, “Any Title That Works.”

The conceit of an open-letter—lifted from the structure that you use in “Any Title That Works”—allows me to \pretend I’m writing to you while actually addressing the readers. But it’s limited, since if I were actually writing a letter to you, I wouldn’t tell you the things you already know, like that the show is built on open letters to yourself at different ages. That in one story you visit Metropolis, Illinois, in search of Superman (or, at least, in search of something like the awe you once felt toward Superman as a child). That in another, you introduce us to your beloved grandfather and put us right there at his funeral. And that you actually have non-cliché things to say about caterpillars and butterflies.

I do have to say that I was thrown a little, about two thirds of the way through, when you seemed to fall back on stand-up comedy. Yes, you’ve got great lines there. But this short stretch felt like a crutch that you no longer need. And it interfered with the truthful world you had built.

You quickly brought things back, though, weaving the previous stories together beautifully into a very satisfying finish.

As I write this, you’ve got one show left on Sunday the 28th. I hope it’s a packed one. You’ve not only got a gift, but you’ve clearly worked to hone it. I bet you’re a terrific stand-up comic. I know that you are a wonderful, captivating storyteller.

With gratitude,

Lou

P.S. I did see one other show today, but I'm not going to comment on it, While I greatly admired the talent displayed, the piece didn't come together, Since today was its final performance, I'd rather just leave the fest with thoughts on "Any Title That Works." 

P.P.S: Your thoughts?

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Thank you SO much for your kind and thoughtful words, Lou.
    Lou, I really appreciate this review of my show. I hope you'll email me so I can personally thank you.

    Paul Strickland

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

ADVERTISEMENT