Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: (Winnipeg) Shelby Bond - People Pleaser (Fringe)

Growing Up and Moving On
by Edgar Governo

Shelby Bond is going through some changes.

This seems to be something of a transition show for Bond, with a structure in which he adopts three different personae that give some hints as to where he might be heading as a performer. The first is still the affable Bond of his more recent stand-up material, as seen in last year's The Poor Man's Guide to Being Rich (which I also reviewed on this site), offering some familiarity for longtime Fringe attendees. The second is a semi-comic professorial character who presents a slide show on the nature of obsequious co-dependency, while the third is a much more earnest inner-monologue version of himself who tells the story of his own such relationship with a past girlfriend.

Even pleasant people can and do have darkness in their lives, and some of those people can be very good at hiding their pain from the outside world. Bond's girlfriend hides the pain of her past in what some would think of as a traditional way, with alcohol and drugs, but he goes just as far to bury his own by doing things for others in an effort to be liked and validated.

It's good to see Bond expand into more dramatic territory in general, as well as having him comment more seriously on how his goodnatured manner can get in the way of leading a healthy life. Bond shows some new dimensions in this performance, and I'm interested to see where he takes that next.

Shelby Bond - People Pleaser is at the Winnipeg Fringe

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