I Love You (We’re F*#ked), 55BC, Nashville, TN. Brown venue, 60 minutes, $10. (Discounts: Seniors, students, Fringe artists and volunteers, anyone in drag.)
By Elizabeth Maupin
Elizabeth Maupin on Theater
At first Kevin J. Thornton looks like a buttoned-down kind of guy — dressed for the Fringe in a pressed white shirt, natty suspenders and a tie. But that buttoned-down (or buttoned-up) persona quickly flies out the door in Thornton’s hilarious stand-up show I Love You (We’re F*#ked), a raucous combination of stories, absurdities and bluesy Nashville-tinged music that gives Fringe audiences credit for being mature enough to handle whatever it is he has to say.
It begins with tales of growing up gay in southern Indiana, where he was doubly obsessed with the Silver Spoons-era Ricky Schroder and with a local boy who spiced up the doings at church. But tale-telling isn’t really the point here: Thornton starts a story and then stops abruptly (“That was all bullshit,” he says), moves into a song and then into a series of sordid stories about dismemberments (“Blood stories!” is the cheerful refrain).
Thornton makes a fine listen on guitar and harmonica (he’ll sell you his new CD, January Dreams, after the show), and he has a funny, self-mocking way with words (“the gay bar is like a thousand puppies licking my soul”). And it’s that spark in his eye — that sense of “This is nuts, and we’re all in it together” — that wins over the audience. Blood stories may not be your thing — but you sure as hell want to know what Thornton will do next.
Saturday May 21, noon
Sunday May 22, 11:45 p.m.
Tuesday May 24, 7:25 p.m.
Wednesday May 25, 10:45 p.m.
Friday May 27. 11:55 p.m.
Saturday May 28, 4:30 p.m.