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San Francisco Fringe 2019

Too Soon?

Alicia Dattner (Oakland, CA)

Genre: Comedy

Venue: Exit Theatre


Low Down

“Internationally-acclaimed award-winning comedian Alicia Dattner is back with a brand new standup show! Dattner throws down on possible planetary futures, lucid dreaming, deep fakes, dating (of course), and annoying sh*t people say to comedians. Alicia makes the truth laughable, bearable, and beautiful.”


Alicia Dattner starts telling jokes and anecdotes as soon as she arrives on stage – about advice people give her about her show. She sits in a fancy high chair and talks to us – she is very expressive – lots of arm gestures and she looks at us directly with good eye contact. Some of the humor is self deprecating, which is interesting, and then she moves on to a long string of topics that link together. It’s a rant of sorts, fast and quick witted starting with her commentary about different social media and everything in between before a quick transition to a completely different topic.

She recounts humorous situations that she gets herself into through misunderstandings that blow up and quickly disintegrate – often speaking in a soft voice that gives the audience a moment to think about what they heard – and this all happens in a flash!

Dattner has interesting material, a good presence and spontaneity. She uses accents and changes tone of voice for different characters effectively. Although she is a lively performer some comedic stories and jokes land well and some do not. But she takes it in her stride and moves on to political jokes, which bring the audience back to react to the next section of topical jokes and observations, including environmental issues, from her point of view. A very funny story is about a bag of Cheetos she bought recently! She then talks about being PC and culturally appropriate and works up to a high energy level. Touching on science she incorporates big sweeping physical gestures, sarcasm and wit, with good timing in this section.

Unfortunately the last fifteen minutes of this sixty minute show were labored the evening I saw it because Dattner did not know her lines from this point on, and took long pauses to remember them, even when referring to pages of notes laid out on the ground. While one understands the spirit of the fringe, and the importance of experimentation, this show could benefit from being edited and streamlined either before or during the performance to sustain the energy of the show and the audience, in order to end on a strong note.