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The Fix-Up Show with J. Keith van Straaten – Off Broadway Theater Review

 

TOO TASTEFUL FOR ITS OWN GOOD?

 

picture - The Fix-Up Show with J. Keith van Straaten 

 

Theater Review

By Michael Narkunski  

published July 21, 2010

 

The Fix-Up Show

now playing at the Triad Theater 

"season finale" July 22 at 9:00 p.m.

then 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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