In his autobiographical monologue, fringe newcomer Bradley Spann remembers growing up in south-central Los Angeles and living with his single mom and four annoying sisters.
The central event of his young life is the day his guilt-ridden father grants his manipulative sister a birthday wish for a monkey. The lawyer dad, who won’t buy his bedwetting son the latest issue of his favourite comic book, Silver Surfer, thinks nothing of adding a wild animal to his wife’s household.
The coming-of-age story of an unhappy youth is hardly spiced up by the arrival of the monkey, and later, a raccoon. That diminishes the emotional payoff and we have to make do with sharing Spann’s satisfaction with roughing up his odious dad during a wrestling match.
The priority of any raconteur is to make his audience care about his story and Spann doesn’t have the compelling material to make that happen. More monkey business might help.
— Kevin Prokosh (Show reviewed during fringe festivals in Montreal and Ottawa last month.)