Hiroshi Shimizu will tell you that his English is very bad (it isn’t). He will tell you that this has caused him many problems in his career as an English-Language comedian (it has). He will tell you that his father is crazy (it’s genetic). And he will tell you this in such a way that you’ll be laughing from start to finish (I sure did).
The point of this production is Shimizu’s electric energy. It overcomes all language barriers, and every other limitation that might befall a story-teller performing in their second language, to carry the audience through a charming and very funny hour of diversion.
Besides the man himself, the production is spare. A lack of set, lighting cues, and sounds leaves everything squarely on the shoulders of Shimizu’s energy.The scrip felt loose and fluid at times, which seems a deliberate play to Shimizu’s strengths: they don’t lie in a deep understanding of the language in which he is performing. He works his way along the plot’s trajectory in a way that feels natural due to frequent improvisations and the occasional search for a missing word. Certainly each element of the story has resonance with the rest, but it doesn’t feel as tightly bound as the performances of many other story-tellers, where each word is often a matter of great significance. Again, this is oddly refreshing, and carried off by the physical energy of the performance.
Hiroshi Shimizu has unhorsed a few more of his English windmills here.