Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay


Elect to Laugh: 2016
The Marsh
Review by Richard Connema | Season Schedule

Also see Richard's reviews of Elect to Laugh: 2016, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, and The Last Five Years, Patrick's reviews of West Side Story and Dancing at Lughnasa, and Eddie's review of Grey Matter


Will Durst
Photo by Pat Johnson
The Marsh San Francisco is a unique place where solo performers can perform their skills. One of my favorite solo performers is American political satirist Will Durst. He has performed at events featuring Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and almost president Al Gore. He has performed up stand up comedy at many other events, including being keynote speaker at a Governors' Conference and a Convention of Mayors. The New York Post calls Durst "a natural successor to Mort Sahl."

Will Durst has now brought his show Elect to Laugh: 2016 to the Marsh in San Francisco where it will run through July 26th. The bipartisan rabble-rouser who exceeds party ties performs monologues, commentary, and a lot of rants in this production with his scripted theatre and occasionally ad libbed comedy. His rolling eyes, simulated pained pauses, and use of an ancient overhead projector add to the pleasure of the audience for 80 minutes. My stomach ached from laughing.

Will Durst with his gravelly voice opens by remarking that those attending his show are his target audience: "people who read or know someone who does." He uses the projector to tell the reasons why someone would want to be president and two of the reasons are "From out of nowhere people hand you babies" and "a 400K a year salary, or if Hilary wins she gets only 78%."

Durst tells stories and memories of people he met along the way, from President Ford to President Obama, criticizing everyone with hilarity. He also, with his projector, shows all seventeen Republican candidates for president, ending with Donald Trump ("How can you parody a parody?"). What he says about Trump I won't repeat. The Democrats are not let off the hook and he has choice words for Hilary and Bernie. He finally says, "I don't know which is scarier. One of the people who will be our president or the American people who will decide."

Elect to Laugh: 2016 runs through July 26, 2016, Tuesdays only at 8 pm at The Marsh, 1062 Valencia Street, San Francisco. Tickets and information on upcoming shows are available at themarsh.org or by calling 415-282-3055, Monday - Friday 1 - 4 pm.


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