EXIT starts with an entrance. Which is, I suppose, actually an exit. Isaac Luy plays (I’m guessing) himself, in clown. He has just arrived at the doorstep of his first apartment in Canada, and as he attempts to manage his excitement for his new home, we learn about his previous life in Venezuela. And there’s nothing funny about that. This tangle of pasts and futures, hopes and despairs, is the stuff of the show, and maybe it’s also what many of us spend some of our time fumbling with as well. So let’s all fumble together with it for an hour!
Luy’s clown can’t exist without us, and so he works hard to get us on side. Sometimes that work is effortless – until it isn’t. A squeaky chair, a zipper that wouldn’t zip, some guy’s cell phone going off in the audience – I don’t know much, but I think these are gifts for someone who is fueled by their audience’s laughter. In order to play the game, though, you’ve got to find the game. And though Luy is a skilled performer, I kept wishing he would veer off track, even just a little, and play.
So, EXIT has its fumbles. But it’s a show about struggle, with a clown who drops things, performed for an audience of people (one guy) who sometimes forget to turn off their cell phones when they go and see a show. We all fumble. And that’s what makes us interesting, and vulnerable and funny. One more chance to see EXIT at St. Vlad’s Theatre – it’s interesting and vulnerable and funny, too.