[star rating = 3/5]
Co-writers and directors Val Dunn and Jenna Kuerzi present a funny, smart and highly improvisational take on the legacy of one of cinemas most iconic Hollywood heartthrobs.
In a small back room, reflecting the shows improvisational, minimalist aesthetic, Johnny Depp takes you on a journey through his filmography. The audience is forced to witness the star’s self-aggrandizing take on everything from 21 Jump Street to Alice in Wonderland 2and beyond. Audiences should come prepared to join in as Johnny also needs a little help in bringing his career retrospective to glorious life.
Johnny Depp: A Retrospective on Late Stage Capitalism is both exactly what you’d expect it to be and also something else entirely.
While the title might suggest a serious, in-depth critical examination of our capitalist society’s obsession with celebrity and with spectacle, this show does so with the aid of one pirate costume, several wigs and booty in the form of dozens of plastic gold coins.
Jenna Kuerzi is uniformly funny as “Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow as Johnny Depp as Late Stage Capitalism as Jack Sparrow”. Which is lucky, as she is essentially carrying the show. The only other onstage performer is Val Dunn who plays, for want of a better name, The Voice of Reason. While their banter may be a little scripted at times it does not detract from the fluid moments of improvised comedy between Johnny Depp and his/her audience.
This show hits you right in the nostalgia, as anyone born in the 1990s knew at least one person who was a particularly devoted fan of Johnny Depp. This idolatry is addressed in the show, as well as his many recent public indiscretions. This show will provide a hilarious look at an icon of 90s cinema pop culture and invites us to look critically at our support of such icons.
If you’re looking for a Fringe show which will give you plenty of laughs without emptying your wallet, while also providing some top-notch improvisational comedy, then Johnny Depp: A Retrospective on Late Stage Capitalism definitely could be for you.