Humor Abuse – Theater Review
The new one-man-show created by performer Lorenzo Pisoni (Equus, Last Dance) and director Erica Schmidt (Debbie Does Dallas).” It’s “the unique story of Pisoni’s upbringing as the youngest member of the Pickle Family Circus, the Bay Area’s tiny big top that entertained thousands of people worldwide and launched the careers of several legendary performers. Filled with the clowning that Pisoni learned at his father’s knee, and the wonder, heartache and complexity of stepping into (and out of) his father’s shoes, Humor Abuse shows that running away with the circus isn’t always fun and games.
“Humor Abuse” is a one-man show. I should say a “one-clown” show at the Manhattan Theater Club. Lorenzo Pisoni is the son of a clown from San Francisco. Apparently his parents started the Pickle Family Circus. Having lived in San Francisco, I knew about the Pickle Circus, didn’t know about Lorenzo, or his father Larry. This was an odd piece. Lorenzo is a very attractive charismatic figure, but part of the hour and half is his expression of him being angry with his father, part of it is describing his circus experiences, and part of it is being a clown. By far the best was his clowning. He also created, wrote and stars in “Humor Abuse”. Another ear or eye acting as editor would have potentially worked wonders; he’s clearly a man who has great stage presence. He’s attractive and he’s athletic, but as he says, he’s not funny. So this makes kind of an easy amalgamation as far as I’m concerned, of being that angry with his father, talking about his growing up, and when he says abuse, I don’t think he’s kidding. I actually would have liked to know more about his family, his mom, whether he had sibs, and how the circus came to be. It’s not that I mind the superficial approach, but the show is superficial on three different levels, that I don’t think mix very well. Two stars.