In “A Stand Up Guy,” a one-man show at the B Street Theatre (2700 Capitol Ave.), professional comedian Jack Gallagher recounts his life. Overall, the play was great, but there were a few problems.
The worst part of the show, by far, was the opening. It was too slow, and the jokes didn’t stick. Part of the problem was that the show was meant for an older generation; for example, he said it is hard to bend over and get stuff off the ground, something I couldn’t relate to. Also, it’s difficult for my generation to relate to “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” which ended in 1992.
However the dullness quickly ended, and the play became hilarious. Gallagher told one story about he once got picked up from the airport, and the driver stopped in a supermarket parking lot to make a drug pickup.
Despite the title, the play doesn’t feel like a stand-up routine. It feels more like a detailed personal narrative, loaded with jokes. It isn’t like stand-up comedy on television in which a bunch of separate little stories is told with a punchline. The stories in this show were somewhat connected, which wasn’t necessarily bad or good; it was just very different.
One unusual aspect of this play was the projected images of people Jack met doing comedy across the United States. This worked well because the audience could see the people he was describing.
Lastly, the poignancy of the ups and downs in Gallagher’s life contributed to the show’s success. For example, he described filming an entire sitcom with ABC called “Letters to Declan” and learning the show was canceled only weeks before the premiere. I found myself rooting for him to overcome his setbacks.
Overall, “A Stand Up Guy” is a funny take on an interesting man’s life. I would recommend this show to almost everyone due to the jokes and heartwarming story.
“A Stand Up Guy” will continue through Oct. 20.
—By Dylan Margolis