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David Strassman Review

No-one knows ventriloquy like David Strassman. The American comedian is best known for his lovable and freaky puppets, Chuck Wood and Ted E. Bear who took over the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre  to entertain a new crowd.

This was the first time Strassman had shown his multiple faces in Queanbeyan, but had previously livened up the Canberra Theatre with his “Chuck You” tour in 2003. The current tour “Careful what you wish for”‘s original showing was only available at 7pm but due to popular demand Strassman chose to open up a second show on the same night at 9:15pm.

The 9:15pm show was a beautiful mess filled with technical failures. Waiting at the entrance of the stylish Q, you couldn’t miss every second couple walking over to the merchandise stall, arms filled by the cute Ted E. Bear. Alongside the cute bear also stood a freaky doll that no-one wanted a piece of, Chuck Wood.

Walking through door 1, we were ushered in by neatly dressed women who enforced “no food and drinks inside please”. Once we found the letter “F” firmly lit up on the floor, we wobbled through knees to get to our seat.

This theatre room was intimate, Strassman made a funny comment, “even the people with the crappy seats from Googong get a good show.” Elise Meakin, a member of the audience, commented that “Strassman had clearly done his research on Canberra and Australia. His localized jokes really hit the spot.” Everyone had the opportunity to have Chuck’s spit squirted on their face, other then the Googong residents that were part of the audience.

The audience were surprised with the quality of the show, Elise Meakin, was overly satisfied with his work. “I was just expecting random stand up but was really impressed to see he’d waived in a storyline into his act.”

David Salvestrin, who also made up the audience, wasn’t as pleased.”It had been over 5 years since I had seen Strassman in Canberra and the jokes at the beginning of the show were exactly the same material that I had previously seen.” Although Strassman had possibly lacked some originality, it was evident to see that some of the jokes he pulled off, weren’t rehearsed at all.

The show tested Strassman’s expertise and professionalism. The enhancement of his puppets shocked many, leaving some wondering how. He proved that he can work under the pressure of controlling up to 5 of his special characters, but this came at a cost. “During the performance Strassman experienced a few technical errors with equipment which meant he had to stop his show” said Mr Salvestrin. “However during this time when things were being fixed, he thought on his feet and kept the crowd entertained with his humour, if I didn’t know any better I would have thought it was all part of the show” Mr Salvestrin said in relief.

For many, these experiences enhanced the admiration that had already existed. Everyone walked out cheering and laughing, even though it was late on a school night. The ambiance in the room was lifted and Strassman can expect another packed Q once more.

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