Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: (Winnipeg) I Hate Bill Pats Too: Almost Homeless

If I Don't Cry, I'll Laugh
by Edgar Governo

Bill Pats doesn't know how to be happy.

It's not that he can't work his way out of a crisis--he certainly has a lot of experience, as this show reveals--but he has no idea what to do with himself when there isn't one. Pats is a good person who has made some bad decisions in the past, frustrated by being both his own worst enemy and smart enough to realize that about himself.

I had no familiarity with Pats before seeing this, and I wasn't initially in the mood for either a sequel to a show I hadn't seen last year or what the programme calls a "dark comedy," but I was more than won over by the sheer talent of this charismatic performer who trusts that the material from his actual life is crazy enough not to require any melodrama in the re-telling. (Even the epilogue can get emotional, as another Fringe performer surprised Pats at the show I attended to thank him for literally saving his life.)

Monologues at the Fringe seem to rely more and more on this sort of personal memoir rather than any fictional narrative, but Pats manages to get the audience invested in how he'll rescue himself from whatever harrowing situation befalls him next. I admire people who can wring comedy out of the terrible incidents in their own lives, and the last laugh of the show comes when Pats describes how everything in his life is finally coming together--with a worried look on his face.

I Hate Bill Pats Too: Almost Homless is at the Winnipeg Fringe

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