Twisty, Demented and Strange: What Happened to Jeff?

What happened to Jeff? Well, I am not exactly sure. However, I will attempt to recap my experience at the Living Room last evening in the audience of this show, but I am still processing exactly what it is that I saw. Jeff Onore gives a captivating performance of a monologue that goes a step beyond the sardonic wit of a comedian into a darkly absurd world of monkeys and baking crayons. He may be deranged, but he’s certainly entertaining.
Onore hails from Newbury, Massachusetts, and his show had all the punch, the grit and the cajones one might expect from the “American” show. Onore wears a smart-looking suit and opens discussing lawyers and a bitter divorce. We are then introduced to BoBo, the chimpanzee, and the close relationship that developed between Onore and the rubber robot baby doll that his son was given to take care of as part of his “Wellness” class. Everything is perfectly twisted.
Indeed, instead of doing what is normally done in Fringe shows of this nature, and taking the seemingly mundane and revealing the humor and irony that usually passes unnoticed in our every day lives, Onore takes his stories to the extreme, but only so far as to make you laugh and to think to yourself, “wow, that’s fucked up.”
Jeff Onore is eccentric. I know, for instance, that he will find this review, because apparently he Googles himself every fifteen minutes. But beyond the extremes and the cold façade, Onore’s monologue is primarily about our primal need to connect and the loneliness of a world filled with lawyers and divorces and expensive suits and cold facades. It is a monologue about how sometimes the world can seem so absurd that one needs to look to the extreme to find a glimmer of humor to hang on to in order to survive.
He ends with a particularly poetic tirade about fruit and juices of cherries from trees that have been cut down bleeding and gushing and flooding into the streets and into our lives and into our homes. The imagery was vivid, but I was unclear what it all was supposed to mean. What cherries? What juices? What flood? What happened to Jeff!?!?! And then, he was gone. It’s a monologue I wouldn’t mind hearing again.
What Happened to Jeff has a distinctly different, flavor than all the other shows in Atlantic Fringe, and it’s not only Onore’s New England accent. Although, the one thing that may plague your mind as you head out onto Agricola Street after the show is that jingle from Bernie and Phyl’s. You know the one I’m talking about. Quality, Comfort and Price. That’s nice.
Venue: The Living Room (2353 Agricola Street) $7.00
Times: Sat Sept 12 at 5:30pm, Sat Sept 12 at 9:30pm.

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