Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: Shelby Bond: The Poor Man's Guide to Being Rich (Winnipeg Fringe)

by Edgar Governo

Shelby Bond’s optimism comes through best in how he reacted to the circumstances facing his show at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.

When the original venue for the show (and five others) was found to lack the necessary occupancy permits, the festival engaged in a mad dash to set up an alternative—but despite his claims that adversity has finally made him bitter enough to pursue a career in standup comedy, he remains as affable a presence as ever, from his greeting the audience in line before the performance to his cheerful reassurances that the new venue is working out great.

The title of the show is misleading in the sense that it doesn’t particularly focus on wealth (real or figurative), but much of it does focus on contradictions: being the theatre-loving son of a Hell's Angel, pursuing girls when everyone thinks you’re gay, then telling those girls of your potential ferocity when you’re a relentlessly nice guy.

Bond holds no grudges, and invites you to look at those paradoxes of existence with a laugh that is good-natured and not sardonic. At the end of the day, you're never going to seem that threatening when you're strumming a ukulele.


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