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Lach: The Day I Went Insane

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Lach is a big deal in the New York singer-songwriter movement, responsible for the city’s longest-running open mic comedy and music night Antihoot – a format he’s exported to the Gilded Balloon for a month.

Now, for the first time anywhere, he’s also trying his hand at comedy himself, albeit in a show heavily dependent on music. The Day I Went Insane is a good introduction to Lach as a quirky personality, but makes a less convincing case about him as a comic.

The show has a definite sense of time and place. If getting high and listening to influential American rock bands of the Seventies is your thing, you’ll identify with Lach’s musical love-letter to Kiss, description of how he tried to watch the Wizard Of Oz on acid, or ponderings as to what it would be like if Jim Morrison was Batman, Val Kilmer having played both on screen.

When he attempts such obvious jokes as the latter, it often falls flat. Were it not for the generic anti-drummer jokes you could easily Google (What’s the difference between a pizza and a drummer? The pizza can feed a family of four) Lach would have no punchlines at all.

The rest is only weakly funny, more a gentle storytelling show interspersed with wryly witty musical numbers such as Drinking Beers With Mom than it is a comedy show.

He’s a thoroughly engaging presence, though, with evocative tales that draw you into his world, even if its references are too particular for those not already au fait with them. But a subdued beat poem that gives the show its title is a turn-off, as are his attempts to persuade the tiny self-conscious audience into singing along to Home On The Range.

Ultimately, he’s much more intriguing than his material – the music excepted – making for a flawed tentative first step into comedy. But practice makes perfect, and he has already nailed the hardest part of stand-up: a compelling on-stage persona.

Review date: 28 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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