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Ed Goodman's Ol' Timey Brainwash

the eds goodman · Ages 18+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by MICHAEL SHAW FISHER

June 09, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

You know you’re in for it when a certain iconic historical satirist/humorist makes his appearance and starts doing stand up one-liners between Led Zepplin interludes.

What I didn't like

The whole thing? I really don’t think this question applies because if it got to “improved“ it would cease to be the odd miracle it was.

My overall impression

Go see it. And here’s why: Ed Goodman has created the single LEAST pretentious one person show I have ever seen. His number one priority is to make sure his show is funny (also insightful, clever and fearless of course but none of that matters to Ed if it doesn’t end in laughter.) “Brainwashing” is also part of Ed’s personal campaign to raise his audiences awareness about the absurdity of the social/political world which they are entrenched – the man, like Mark Twain, he holds no punches and just wants HONESTY. “Brainwashing” also lands because the ever-unprepared Ed embraces the chaos of his own mind and shows us what a wonderfully zany place it is. When you think about it, it’s more like Jazz Comedy, with one tangent launching inexplicably into the next and the self-effacing free-form foolishness triumphing over practiced precision. It’s like watching a talk show host try to keep Robin Williams on-subject – except in this case, Ed is both a talk show host and Robin Williams. Don’t get me wrong, there are some “bits” and bookends which do provide solidarity to the structure. By all technical standards, however, the preview I saw was chaos. Pure chaos. But Ed knew it, the audience knew it, and both of us were unable to stop laughing.

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