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San Francisco by Richard Connema

Mark Lundholm's Solo Performance in Addicted Off the Wall, Fast Paced Humor

Also see Richard's reviews of Eurydice and Ben Franklin Unplugged

AddictedMark Lundholm is an edgy raconteur who is keeping audiences entertained at the Marines Memorial Theatre. He tells his audience at the beginning of the performance that his show is "like real life, it's funny and it's not and then it's over." That is what you get during the one hour 20 minute program. In rapid and brittle one line zingers you hear about Lundholm's life, from the pubescent to the present. This man has been addicted to all of the vices known to man: all kinds of drugs, breaking the law, sexual one-night stands, rehabilitation centers and he had a really dysfunctional family during his tender years. This man has done it all. He gives real meaning to the phrase "been there, done that."

Mark calls his performance "a comedy of substance," and he begins by telling of his childhood with an alcoholic father. One of the most bizarre stories is the family trip to Disneyland when his father corners Goofy on Main Street and demands to be taken to the nearest bar. Security is called and the whole family is escorted out of the park and told never to darken the Disney doors again. Mark does a great imitation of his father's booming voice during the early stages of his monologue. Most of the voices following this excellent part of the show seem very ghostly.

Mark talks about his first attempted hold up with a gun when he tried to force a small Asian lady out of her car in a mall parking lot. The lady fools him by taking the gun away through quick maneuvers and yells for the police. He talks about getting married and having a daughter. At that time, he is heavy into alcohol and drugs, and he deserts the family, taking their life savings. He squanders the money on drink and drugs, ending up in a cheap motel room in the late '80s.

Mark talks about living on the streets and under a bridge in Oakland, about going to a halfway house and group therapy. He reaches the bottom with his hatred of self and his fear of living. He even attempts suicide, but fortunately the gun jams. The man has eight voices inside of him and each of these voices tries to tell him what to do. On stage, this is accomplished by some wonderful sound designs by Randy Hansen and Duncan Edwards and great lighting effects from Paul Miller.

Lundholm discovers humor eventually and this is what saves him. He starts with 10 minute monologues in rehabilitation centers and finds that he is a good stand up comic. Showtime gives him his own comedy special and he appears on Comedy Central several times. He writes and stars in his own one man show and gets great reviews from the New York Times and Post. Addicted is voted into the top position as the most highly recommended show in New York by The Wall Street Journal and Zagat Theatre Survey.

Mark Lundholm is an accomplished showman who keeps the audience interested with his cutting edge humor. He has a great ability to scrutinize, particularly on what normal drug-free folks are like compared to those who are addicted to drugs and booze. He uses the stage with physical skills and moves around like a gazelle. He really knows how to work a crowd.

Addicted has been held over until November 14 at the Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter Street, San Francisco. For tickets call 415-771-6900 or visit www.marinesmemorialtheatre.com.


Photo: 04 Robert Bengtson


Cheers - and be sure to Check the lineup of great shows this season in the San Francisco area


- Richard Connema



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