My second Fringe show yesterday was Fifty Shades of Dave. Full disclosure: this one I went to because I know the writers and performers. Co-writer and performer Nico Dicecco was my former PhD student, and co-writer Kyle Carpenter is currently finishing his PhD in the English Department at SFU. With this work they both reveal additional hidden talents I didn't know either had.
Fifty Shades of Dave, punning on the E.L. James novel, is an erotic parody of Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe stories, with husband and wife protagonists Dave and Morley accidentally discovering a penchant for BDSM. Dicecco, doing what I gather is a spot-on impression of McLean's voice, spins three such tales in a hilariously homespun manner, the very dailiness of the details (Dave heading off to the hardware store to buy rope to tie up Morley) parcelled out in the set-up to each increasingly hot and heavy story climax making the narrative payoff that much more satisfying. While I confess to never having listened to The Vinyl Cafe, I do understand good writing, and this show has it in spades. To wit: after seeing this show, your understanding of the meaning of eating ice cream will forever be changed.
Nico, as McLean, is also a natural performer. And while I'd very much like for some academic institution to give him a job, I was delighted to discover that another possible career also awaits him. I look forward to hearing more from this duo.