Posted on Jul 24, 2013
3 out of 5
The line was already in place as I pulled in at the Fishtank an hour early to catch "An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein." Most of the tickets were already gone, and it was just as well I showed up wen I did, managing to squeak in just at the back of the room. The show is a hot ticket, and in a small venue like the Fishtank that means turnaways and lots of 'em. Still, we the Elect took our seats and waited for the show to begin.
Now, a quick word. Most folks will know the late Mr. Silverstein as a voice form our childhood, the creepy-cool uncle who knew all the best jokes. Some of us beyond that will have discovered his adult poetry, or the songs he wrote for Bobby Bare, Dr Hook, and so on. Fact is, he created an amazing universe full of beatniks, tokers, night people, and poets. They climb mountains, play poker with the Devil, surf the wave that washes the world away, or just get stoned and miss the whole damn thing.
However, none of that material appears here. What we have here is essentially a series of quick playlets about, well... let's just say ol' Uncle Shelby had him some issues with women. Not a big surprise, but honest t'Pete, the whole play? Women turn into bag ladies, have their personal lives dissected, their arms twisted, their lives ended. When they're not the victim they're playing merciless head games, or putting themselves up for sale (in two separate sketches, yet). I mean, I don't mind the occasional joke in my direction, but geez, spread it around a little.
Anyway. The troupe at the Fishtank does a good job with the material, keeps the laughs coming from the appreciative audience. Those of you who wish to see it will be glad to know the run has been extended through the 4th. Personally however, this reviewer can't help but feel that, given what an adult evening of Shel Silverstein *could* have been, why it turned out to be this is a mystery not worth exploring.