Zack Adams: AWKWARD
nytheatre.com review by Megin Jimenez
August 16, 2009
"Awkward" is in the air these days—say it with just the right tone, and you'll probably get a laugh. With just a guitar and a mic, Australian comedian Zack Adams promises to explore the realm of all things awkward in his musical comedy show. The songs touch on everything from uncomfortable adolescence and break-ups to trying to make fruit sound cool.
Though I'm not an expert on the musical comedy world, it seems impossible not to mention the Flight of the Conchords as an influence. Adams's musical style seems derivative of the comedy duo, without their offbeat (and funny) twists. For coming from so far away, the cultural references are surprisingly familiar, as are the punchlines. It's not difficult to be the funny guy in the group if you drop the words "balls," "douche bag," or "ginger pubes" into any story—this is more a function of language than wit. However, Adams's delivery is charismatic enough to keep the material moving forward.
His real talents are evidenced in the bits between songs, such as a routine that contrasts his disconnect between thoughts and words when faced with a girl, or a pre-recorded audio commentary on his guitar tuning. Even an Andy Kaufman-like "awkward silence solo" is funnier, and more original, than the song it was featured in. Clearly there's room for growth here, and Adams's enthusiasm and genial stage presence seem like a solid platform to make it happen.