nytheatre.com review by Joseph Langham
The description said there’d be a PR Duo, a ukulele and a DJ. And darned
if they weren’t all there! Yet, still it wasn’t at all what I was
expecting. Truth be told, these four heroes of modern comedy exceeded
any expectations I held in my tiny little artist’s brain.
August 15, 2002
The show kicked off with an introduction by our hosts Sedatem and Hyde, brought to us courtesy the newly founded Homeland Security Department. They’ve come all the way from Washington to ease our insecurities concerning the war on terror. How? By using a language all us Fringers (Fringees?) can plainly understand: Art. And who performs the art? None other than the great Cliff Von Clifton, non-verbal artist extraordinaire, with a little help from his pal (or not) DJ Monkey. Fever Pitch is incredible, and rife with surprises that I refuse to give away. Please note that I am snickering knowingly as I write these words.
The borderline pig-faced PR Duo are energetically and flawlessly portrayed by Liz Turkel and Matt Chapman, who seethe with a chemistry not unlike that of the great comedy duos of the golden age. Think Abbott and Costello meets Burns and Allen meets Rumsfeld and Rice. DJ Monkey plays himself (and the turntables) quite nicely, keeping an ambient musical through-line consisting of familiar music and a strong back beat. But, the real standout of the evening is Greg Maupin’s Cliff Von Clifton. This man manages to say more with his body, some extremely subtle facial expressions, and a wide array of instruments and props, than all of the pot-bellied, round-assed politicians who ever stood before a podium.
I left the theatre feeling elated. The jokes are hilarious and sobering all at the same time. This is some scary and touchy material these people are playing around with and I, personally, applaud them for it. I now implore you to drop all other FringeNYC plans and see this show. It is important. It is timely. And, above all else it is pure fun.