Review: (Toronto) Inside Albert's Head (Fringe)
Content with Too Little
by Keely Kwok
Inside Albert’s Head is all about Albert Herz, a simple electrician who bumbles around New York City accidentally solving crime. Tonight, he’s accepting a Crime Stoppers Award for his assistance. He’s even giving a speech. And guess what? You get to sit there and listen to it.
Albert is supposed to be charming and endearing as he prattles on about his stories and coincidences. And at first, he is! Writer/actor David Ackerman places his pauses perfectly to maximize the laughs, and his miming really is stellar. The character of Albert was initially born out of improvisation and from that stance I can see how it works. Unfortunately his appeal loses steam after about 20 minutes. Then Albert is that guy you get trapped talking to at a party. You know, the kind where you pretend to get a phone call in order to escape the 'conversation'? Ackerman’s performance stays at the same level for an entire hour. While this might serve a purpose for the character, he’s doing a one-man show and would have benefitted from some variety.
Additionally, the technical elements of the show don’t quite add up. An overhead projector on stage left flashes images at irregular, oddly timed moments, and is so fast you barely have time to see the visuals. There is also a singular random sound effect of oncoming traffic and the underutilized props table set up beside the projector.
Overall, Inside Albert’s Head is about a man who’s content with little. But as an audience member, I could have done with a lot more.
July 2 - 13
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