Fear of a Brown Planet: beer for a brown planet
Amid the "Solo Character Monologue", the "Seri-comic Monologue", and the "Solo Comedic Monologue" (not to mention the "Solo Comedy Drama" and the "Solo Fiction") it's refreshing to see a Fringe show listed simply as “Standup Comedy" - but that's Nile Séguin for you, cutting through the BS and going right for the funny bone - via the jugular.
Séguin begins his show, Fear of a Brown Planet, (which gets my vote for best show title at this year's Fringe) by telling you a funny story that happened to him a couple of days ago. It involves an unexpected run-in with a deer. The audience begins to laugh right away...and they never get a chance to stop. This is indeed stand-up comedy but Séguin throws in an early twist by deftly deconstructing the strange world of stand-up comedy and the people who perform it - himself included. He is not kind. But he is truthful. And hilarious.
From there he moves onto the inevitable topic of race. (I say "inevitable" because Séguin is of mixed heritage and, as one might guess from the title of his show, there are a lot of jokes about his "darker half"). These days jokes about racial stereotypes seem as omnipresent as mother-in-law jokes were in the 1950's, but Séguin seldom goes for the obvious, he's making you think while he's making you laugh. And the audience ate it up.
Séguin is a seasoned pro, and appeared totally at ease as he worked the near capacity crowd. What's more, he's the only performer smart (or lucky) enough to snag the Upper Lounge of Paul's Motor Inn as his venue.
"I keep expecting to see Joe Pesci stabbing somebody in the face with an ice pick in the back room," Seguin mused early in the evening.
It's a “Licensed Venue", so you can see the show the way it was meant to be seen, sitting at the bar, ordering another drink and laughing your ass off. Séguin isn't going to need any help from the likes of us critics to sell this show. Word of mouth will do that for him. My only advice to you is to get there early so you can get a good seat. This is going to be a monster.
Fear of a Brown Planet; Written & Performed by Nile Séguin (Toronto, ON). Part of the 2008 Victoria Fringe Festival @ Venue 12 [ The Upper Lounge of Paul's Motor Inn -1900 Douglas Street]. Remaining performances at 8:00 pm on Sun 24, Wed 27, Thu 28, Fri 29, Sat 30 for more information get your ass over here.