Fringe review: ‘Road to Nowhere’

Road to Nowhere, Hefner and the Henchgirl, Cabin John, MD. Pink venue, 60 minutes, $10. (Discounts: Seniors, students, unemployed.)

By Elizabeth Maupin
Elizabeth Maupin on Theater

John Hefner

John Hefner had a plan.

He was going to stir himself out of his mother’s basement, where he spent all his time chatting on the internet. He was going to force himself to have an adventure — driving across the country on Route 66, spending a month with his Canadian girlfriend and then returning to scatter his father’s ashes somewhere near home.

But life gets in the way of plans, and Hefner’s mishap-laden adventure is the stuff of Road to Nowhere, a sometimes funny, sometimes hapless testimonial to the path he took.

Hefner has given Orlando two previous Fringe shows centering on his relations, or lack thereof, with his distant cousin Hugh, and it’s a relief this time around that the pajama wearer is (almost) nowhere to be found.

Instead, the performer is concerned with his own lack of initiative: “For me, going out-of-state is a risky unknown,” he says. And even his self-absorption gives him a reason to be self-absorbed.

Road to Nowhere is punctuated with witty slide projections (and I was enjoying the travelogue enough that I was disappointed when, in northern California, the photos went away). But it suffers from Hefner’s lack of ease onstage and from a habit of commenting on how well his jokes are going over. Note for next time: When people don’t laugh at a joke, move on. Quickly.

Remaining shows:
Thursday May 26, 6:20 p.m.
Saturday May 28, 11:30 a.m.
Sunday May 29, 8 p.m.

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