Fix-Up Show with J. Keith van Straaten – Off Broadway Theater Review
TASTEFUL FOR ITS OWN GOOD?
published July 21,
The Fix-Up Show
playing at the Triad Theater
finale" July 22 at 9:00 p.m.
resumes Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. on August 7
The Fix-Up Show is a safe, jaunty stab at pre-gaming
entertainment for the Game Show/Soap Network crowd. As an audience member, you'll get to watch fellow New Yorkers introduce themselves, then
disappear while their friends, and a celebrity guest, ask harmless questions to three potential suitors, eventually deciding on a winner. The
host, J. Keith van Straaten, is a “real” game show host, having done “Beat the Geeks,” and is clearly happy stepping back and just reminding
people of Drew Carey. This would be fine, as he is definitely amusing, but when he polices others from injecting any personality either—like
he did, when I went, with fabulous celebrity queen Michael Musto—it really makes the fact that it is live theater a mere formality. Musto was
the only one getting belly laughs, needling the potential one-hour stands about their dopey jobs and hobbies, and Straaten cut him off at
“oral sex,” citing that it's a family show. Really? Haven't the producers learned anything from the famous “Truth or Date” scene in
Mallrats? Corny throwbacks to The Dating Game can only come alive when infused with complete, unadulterated vulgarity; or else,
how have we progressed as a culture? Still, it's slightly more invigorating than just sitting on
your couch, especially because of the possibilities for real awkwardness, or the slightly sweet warmth that may come over you from witnessing
actual humans look for love un-ironically, right in front of your eyes. But with the pricey two-drink minimum, and then the edict against
using those drinks to loosen up, you'll more likely end up yearning for your TV at home--where you can yell inappropriate things at the
screen to your heart's content.
michaelnarkunski @ stageandcinema.com
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