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Mad Entertaining!


PIT show starring Mark Giordano frames being 40 in the context of glorified bachelorhood


By Bethany Trottier / Jester Correspondent; photo credit: Anya Garrett


Inspired by the retro 60s cool of “Mad Men,” Mark Giordano’s “Mad Man,” presents the funniest midlife crisis ever, kicking off with swinging pop music and its star delivering a witty, Rat Pack-inspired rant while clutching a frosty martini at center stage. The show concluded its recent run at the People’s Improv Theater in a show seen Sept. 29, but will return in November.


In his opening, Giordano tells the audience most of his friends are of the “alcoholish” sort. He adores the liquid which quells the self loathing of being an adult in a culture that encourages perpetual adolescence. The hangover heightens the awareness of the loathing when the next day brings clarity. For as much as our narrator derides more juvenile aspects of our culture – Real Housewives franchise, anyone? – he also very much yearns to be part of the program where people settle down and live together in nice little nuclear families. Single at 40, Girodano feels deeply abnormal. In fact, he feels that his young nephew even suspects some buried awfulness lurking because he identifies superman’s fortress of solitude as being “like Uncle Mark’s apartment.”


Thus “clarity sucks!” and the rest of your time there you will be on the receiving end of clarity as Mark sees it. Whether you are a middle-aged dad strapping your baby son into a car whilst sporting a Che Guevara t-shirt or if you think 40 is the new 30, Mark is here to let you know how incredibly, willfully deluded you are. His topics veer from religion – he describes his family as “Cathol-ish,” to dating – dishing out some specialized dating etiquette aimed at both men and women -- to how we need to grow up as a culture because not everybody deserves a trophy just for showing up.


The show is broken up into four vignettes and each portion gets its own symbolic liquor. The live stuff is punctuated with little films of a hilarious puppet alter ego, sitting at a bar having a one-sided conversation with his regular bartender. The pacing is great, the show is very smooth and our narrator is as strong in his performance as his opinions. All of the show is stylized in that “Rat Pack” fashion. I find it fascinating that many people, including the performer of this show, seem to identify the early 1960’s culture as the last moment that anyone can remember when adults held sway – for better or for worse.


The last moment of the show leaves you with this comforting, clarifying thought -- no one knows what they are doing! Believe in yourself, because no one knows a goddamn thing, as Mark says.




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