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Weaksauce

 

Review


Sam Mullin’s autobiographical solo show will remind you of what it was like to move through adolescence in a way that is quite impressive in its clarity, humour and reflectiveness. Sam is a very good storyteller; his pace, structure and delivery carry us through some otherwise normal (actually, maybe not so normal) life events in a highly captivating and entertaining way. Sam’s inner-dialogue asides, bang-on impersonation of his arch nemesis, David Oliver, and willingness to self-deprecate in his humour are the strengths of the show. Don’t get it twisted; this isn’t a nostalgic trip, yearning for what could have been. Rather, it’s an endearing and earnest account of the hilarity, ridiculousness and utter confusion of what it is to fall in love. It’s also a charmingly funny reminder that no matter how bad it may seem, it’s gonna get better lil’ buddy. Reviewed by Terris Glab.
EdmontonFringe.ca
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 


 
Gig City


 
Global


 
Total Score
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/ 5


Reader Rating
12 total ratings

 

Overview
 

Dates / Times:
  • 9:15 pm - 2017/08/19
  • 3:00 pm - 2017/08/21
  • 12:00 pm - 2017/08/22
  • 11:00 pm - 2017/08/24
  • 7:00 pm - 2017/08/25
  • 4:15 pm - 2017/08/27



3
Posted 2017/08/20 by

3 Reviews


  1.  

    WEAKSAUCE is a curious production. There’s an odd disconnect in that the words convey small and minute events, but writer-performer Sam Mullins elevates his content to great heights through physicality and self-mockery matched with subtle and clever writing.

    Throughout WEAKSAUCE, Mullins relates anecdotes from his teenaged years and his interactions with women and they’re the the kinds of stories I usually find obnoxious at best. Mullins illustrates how as a boy, he saw women as prizes to be won, as objects in reward systems. But Mullins approaches his content with a brilliant perspective where he highlights his own vanity and its disastrous results such as a day at a lake where an attempt to execute an artful dive into the water leaves him hanging from a pier with an injured leg, his swimming trunks torn and his vitals exposed.

    What’s most impressive is how Mullins adds weight and depth well beyond his words through the way he uses the stage. Each anecdote has a distinct sense of atmosphere as Mullins’ body language indicates rooms, locations, time and space to distinguish each individual scene. And each story has retrospective context as Mullins adds shading and analysis to his teenaged years while clearly indicating how his teenaged self was oblivious to everything he’s noting now.

    The most striking example of this is Sam Mullins’ nemesis throughout his stories, the athletic and attractive professional hockey player, David Oliver, a ladies’ man who becomes young Sam’s romantic rival at the hockey camp at which they’re both counselors. As this is a single-player show, Mullins must perform as David and his impression of David is the high point of WEAKSAUCE. As David, Mullins steeples his fingers behind his head and arcs his back to increase his apparent height, conveying a practiced self-confidence that contrasts with Mullins’ young Sam who is slouchy and nervous. Mullins distinguishes between David and Sam beautifully to the point where young Sam’s cringed reaction can wordlessly convey David’s presence in a scene.

    What’s more, Mullins conveys the unspoken implication that even though Sam is burningly contemptuous towards Oliver for dishonestly having numerous girlfriends, Oliver’s persona is the exact image Sam himself seeks to create and fails to project. Mullins initially presents Oliver as Sam’s antagonist, but then his writing gradually repositions Oliver as the representation of all of Sam’s flaws and everything Sam should try not to be. And it’s particularly impressive that Mullins pulls this off without ever saying it outright.

    Every single one of Mullins’ stories in WEAKSAUCE has the same careful depth, the same thoughtful layers of present-moment occurence and retrospective reconsideration, each one added through detailed writing and performance. Sam Mullins is a master storyteller and WEAKSAUCE ends up being so much more than the sum of its parts.




  2.  
    Kelley

    I love Sam, and look forward to seeing him every year (deeply missed him last year). In my opinion, Weaksauce is his strongest work. His storytelling is endearing, and he’s just so dang charming, you just can’t help but fall in love with him.




  3.  
    May

    I would not put this show under comedy. It was more storytelling to me. It was sweet 80% of the time and funny just 5% of the time. The rest 15% was silence!





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