Fringe Comedy

Alex Edelman



Catherine Bohart



Gayle Anderson

THERE'S a buzz about Alex Edelman's show this year. His name is being muttered round VIP Fringe bars almost as often as, "can I have a receipt with that please?"

It seems with good cause. The Bostonian begins with a homage to his comedy hero, Robin Williams, that has a rub of the genie's lamp about its magic and inventiveness. He then drops the Disney to describe a real-life meeting with New York neo-Nazis.

Against the surreal backdrop of a buffet breakfast, Edelman goes undercover to confront his antisemitic trolls over their own dining table. Woven throughout this jaw-dropping encounter are tales of tuxedos, Torah and skeleton luge.

It's a confident, carefully-crafted and brilliantly delivered set. If this was music it would definitely be jazz. Rhythmic and hip, you're never sure where it's taking you but you know you'll like it.

Catherine Bohart is all wide-eyed charm. She looks like Kerrygold wouldn't melt. Don't be fooled though, she offers up a confessional debut set that will blow you out of the (holy) water.

She lays her mass cards on the table, introducing herself as the bisexual daughter of a Irish Catholic deacon. Her show Immaculate is a beautifully-written benediction to the strength of family and the power of having faith in your own convictions. There are stories of Bohart's personal struggles with OCD, descriptions of hospital counselling sessions where all she could think of was re-arranging the furniture, and keenly observed and beautifully crafted examples of the bigotry she and other minorities face in her homeland.

This is a structured, well-written performance, packed full of laughs and feel good moments. She rounds it off with a tale of her father's childhood toys that signals she's destined for great things. The family that embraces the gays together stays together.