Fringe review: Lucky Nine, Big Sandwich/TJ Dawe, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Watching TJ Dawe’s solo Fringe shows year after year is like taking a journey into TJ’s mind. It’s not a journey for everyone, but if you’re drawn to the cerebral and captivated by the ways people grow and change, Lucky Nine is the show for you.
Dawe is an Orlando Fringe mainstay and one of the best examples of what makes the Fringe so unlike any other festival: He creates one-man shows – sometimes wild and picaresque, sometimes quiet, always structured to a T – that without fail wind up examining the way he thinks. He took last year off from the Fringe circuit, and Lucky Nine is the result, a look at a personality-typing system that has gripped him, the works of a Vancouver doctor named Gabor Maté and the HBO TV series The Wire – all of which have changed the way he looks at the world.
This sounds esoteric, and it is, more so than Dawe’s previous shows. But it’s also fascinating to watch a mind at work – the mind of a bright, funny man who sees himself as a loner and a “wild vagabond artist,” who doesn’t gravitate towards the social movements of strangers (don’t get him started on the Vancouver Olympics) and who comes to the realization that some of that can change. This is a performer who’s still drily hilarious (pity the poor man who let out a loud snore in the row in front of me), but also one who’s searching for more. Thank the Fringe we get to go along for the ride.
Remaining shows: 11:20 a.m. Sunday 5/23, 8:35 p.m. Tuesday 5/25, 11:50 p.m. Wednesday 5/26, 6:50 p.m. Friday 5/28, 10:50 p.m. Saturday 5/29. Yellow venue.