#HFF19 ‘Ed Goodman’s Ol’ Timey Brainwash’, reviewed

Gia On The Move, Matt Ritchey, theater reviews, Hollywood Fringe Festival

Reviewed by Matt Ritchey

Ed Goodman is a talented, otherworldly crazy man. And he has a solo show. Thank God.

Fans of Goodman may remember his portrayals of Mark Twain in both Poe Show and Mark Twain Answers All Your Questions. Well, in Ed Goodman’s Ol’ Timey Brain Wash, Twain is briefly involved here, but it’s mostly just Goodman, telling stories incredible (the David and David story), terrifying (what a “coming to L.A.” story!) and just plain goofy (the numerous “Old Timey Brainwash” commercials, for example).

Goodman plays with multiple theatrical styles including direct-address, stand-up, and large swaths of meta. (In fact “Large Swaths of Meta” could be a band Goodman fronts someday.) There’s really no way to summarize an Ed Goodman show, it’s like getting into a hyperbaric chamber of comedy. Imagine letting Robin Williams just do his thing and wing it for an hour. Yeah. That.

Not to say that the Ol’ Timey Brainwash is Goodman simply winging it. It’s well-constructed insanity, dragging you along by the hair on a fun waterslide of intellectual silliness. There’s some great meta theatrical stuff going on here as well. I hesitate to say more, as just sitting in the theater and waiting to see what the hell happens next is part of the fun. Just be sure to go sit in the theater.


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