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Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life



Keith Alessi maintains that you can tell a lot about a person by what they keep in their closet—for him, it’s 52 banjos. Flanked by two banjos and a banjitar, Alessi tells the story of how he went from being a successful CEO to an avid banjo player and collector, after a terminal cancer diagnosis forced him to reevaluate his priorities. (The titular tomatoes were at the root of his esophageal cancer). Alessi is a wholesome presence on stage, but he struggles to connect fully with the audience, his gaze most often falling to the floor. The message, of overcoming life’s obstacles and following your passion, feels well-worn. In the end, "Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life" feels more like an extended TED Talk than a fully realized theatrical show. —Connor Meeker


Gig City


Total Score
2/ 5

Reader Rating
23 total ratings



Dates / Times:
  • 11:30 pm - 2018/08/17
  • 9:15 pm - 2018/08/18
  • 6:30 pm - 2018/08/19
  • 2:45 pm - 2018/08/21
  • 4:45 pm - 2018/08/23
  • 12:00 pm - 2018/08/25

Posted 2018/08/18 by



One Review

    John Schadan

    I attended Keith’s Sunday evening performance and he had my full attention for the entire show. His message, look for the positive in the face of adversity never wears out. He connected with me personally and the five others in my party. Further proof of Keith touching his audience was witnessed outside the venue, where others from the audience tracked him down to give him a hug or simply shake his hand. This show is worth seeing!

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