Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: (Edmonton) Serving Bait to Rich People

Raw Bait
by Rebecca Edgewood
There are two integral elements to good standup comedy: clever, funny material and timing. In Serving Bait to Rich People, aspiring comedienne Alexa Fitzpatrick has neither. She tells the story of living as a ski bum in Aspen, Colorado and of working at a high-end sushi restaurant. It’s an interesting premise, and it has the potential to be a good story, if Alexa would Just Tell us The Story. Instead, she has devised a comedy routine, with such an eclectic mix of stale jokes and unreliable stories that the audience doesn’t know what is real and what is a setup for a gag.  

Serving Bait fails as a personal monologue, because of the standup element. And it fails as a standup routine, because unfortunately, Alexa just isn’t very good at standup. Almost every line she spoke was bookended with the phrases “um”, “here’s the thing”, “like” and “oh gosh”. Her hesitant manner made the audience uncomfortable.  Her material wasn’t memorized (she glanced at her notes throughout), and she is clearly a novice at using a microphone, as she kept hitting the stand whenever she essayed a dramatic gesture.  
And as for the timing – the second element of good stand-up comedy – well, that was clearly lacking.  Alexa didn’t pause between jokes. As if embarrassed by her own material, she barrelled through to a lacklustre finale. And after each bit, she would make a ‘sour-lemon’ face that reflected my own feelings all too accurately.
At one point in Serving Bait, Alexa announces that she is moving to New York City to become a stand-up comic. I wish her the best, but perhaps until she improves enough to solicit more than a handful of laughs in the course of an hour-long routine, she should stick to her waitressing…

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