Al Lubel is Mentally Al
Intelligent, tightly-woven narratives and wending stories - plus some bad singing
This article is from 2013.
The first 45 minutes of Al Lubel’s show are tight, smart and wonderfully funny. The American comedian, former lawyer and one time winner of Star Search begins by spending a good five minutes pulling apart the concept of his own name – a theme he expertly returns to time and again throughout the show – pontificating over just seven letters without getting boring. He is the master of wending stories away from their assigned paths, laying foundations and building to a climax that has shades of Milton Jones on valium.
He appears on the defensive: mid-stage and hands on hips, but is softly spoken and eloquent as he explores a symbiotic relationship with his mother that is plagued by paranoia and narcissism – beautifully over-analysing right to the hilt.
So it’s frustrating that the last fifteen minutes are so bafflingly bad. Lubel cuts the intelligent, tightly-woven narratives, resorting instead to singing a rambling account of his onstage antics while stripping down to numerous pairs of underpants. Sure, it’s a callback to his original narcissistic tendencies, but it wanders on for far too long and undoes all the good work that came before.
Just the Tonic at The Caves, 556 5375, until 25 Aug, 10.30pm, £7–£10.