I’m reviewing eight plays over eight days for the 2010 Capital Fringe Festival, in collaboration with DC Theatre Scene. Get your button and join me!
Actor Ben Egerman is the last human on earth. You the audience member are part of a horde of killer robots who’ve decimated the populace and are now clamouring for his blood, but you won’t kill him as long as he keeps you entertained.
That’s basically the premise of Egerman’s one-man show, Do Not Kill Me, Killer Robots – a quirky piece that reminded me of the elaborate pranks shy dorky boys used to pull to get your attention. That’s intentional on Egerman’s part. There’s not much substance here, just a string of vignettes ranging from truly funny to awkward. When he’s on and the delivery is strong, it’s hysterical. When the energy falls flat, it’s painful.
With the aid of hilariously drawn cardboard cut-outs, Egerman takes the audience (remember, you are killer robots!) through the events leading to (your) world domination, musing on (your) origins along the way. There’s a prolonged pitstop at space camp where Egerman does dead-on impressions of all the kooky characters you remember from any geek camp. Maybe too prolonged. By this point I began wondering if there was a point, and honestly, there isn’t. Egerman has a wry delivery style and an engaging stage persona, but as he veered from vignette to vignette and the sweat began to congeal in the small of my back, I started to get a bit antsy and wonder – was I actually longing for more of a plot?
But really, who doesn’t love sex-crazed killer robots? Am I just being too Aristotlean? This being Fringe, I guess the lack of anything cohesive is ok if you aren’t looking for deep meaning and just need a light laugh or two.