Fringe review: ‘A Brighter Shade of Blue,’ Paul Strickland, Louisville, KY
By Elizabeth Maupin
Paul Strickland is divorced.
He wants you to know that up front because, well, Strickland’s take on his marriage is one with his take on pretty much everything else. He’s a natural negative guy, he’ll tell you. He’s working on finding some happiness. But happiness is like Bigfoot, Strickland says: You have to believe in it, and then you have to go out and find it.
Happiness may be just a bit out of his reach, but comedy is safely in his grasp in A Brighter Shade of Blue, Strickland’s solo show. Looking eternally bemused, Strickland talks about his childhood home in Pensacola (a trailer park called Hope Grounds), a slew of dimwits in small-town Arkansas and his ongoing differences with his ex-wife, which probably seemed monumental at the time but come across as laughable now.
Strickland has terrific timing and a way with words that’s unusual for a standup comic: He’s interested in why people use the words they do, and the sounds of those words – words like “dang-durn” – fit their users. Maybe he calls himself a pessimist, but I beg to differ: You can’t be entirely negative and put together a show as wistful and hopeful as this.
Remaining performance: 5:40 p.m. Sunday 5/30. Brown venue.