rick reynolds

'Rick Reynolds'

By Rick Sherwood

There are few jokes but a lot of laughs in Rick Reynolds: Only the Truth Is Funny. It's one of the most delightful, insightful, intelligent and philosophically probing one-man theater pieces ever captured by TV cameras, here done in a way that does well to transport the home audience to the theater experience.

This is a wonderful show, a probing and very poignant look at life by a philosophy student-turned-comic who takes his sometimes painful life, looks deep into his soul and comes up with a humorous and often ironic autobiographical study. It's a heartfelt, moving and tremendously uplifting performance that makes you think about life -- his life and your life -- and the joys of living. It's not always belly-laugh stuff, but it's almost always right on the mark.

The play itself, which created quite a sensation with Los Angeles audiences a couple of years back, is a comedic introspection by the stand-up comic-turned-monologuist, a spiritually stimulating and in many ways healing look back at a 40-year-old life filled with pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow.

The show features a sparse living-room set and Reynolds pacing back and forth for nearly the entire 90 minutes, sometimes determined and sometimes in a casually lumbering mode to accent the wit and wisdom of his reflections. He uses his skeletal face and big-eyed glances to add emphasis to his thoughts, and does well to come clean about everything from his hair transplants and sexual past to his abusive stepfathers, manic-depressive mother and the impact of his child's birth.

Luckily, the cameras are there with him at every step. This presentation rightfully downplays technical wizardry and rapid edits and goes lightly on strange camera angles in order to preserve the integrity and substance of the show. The chosen style serves to complement the clarity of Reynolds' thoughts rather than compete with them.

In the case of Rick Reynolds: Only the Truth Is Funny, it's an important key to success.

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