Adelaide Fringe. Legends Bar. 18 Mar 2022
John Robles is certainly happy. From the time you enter the venue and first lay eyes on him, Robles is smiling, chatting, laughing, and generally fussing around with a total lightness of spirit. He’s happy, but there is also a smidgeon of nervousness as well, and that’s OK. (BTW, his surname is apparently pronounced ‘ru-blay’, because he’s of Mexican descent.)
The show begins by Robles drawing immediate laughs by identifying the (few) straight people in the audience and him telling them that as a minority group they have his unwavering support! Clever. Seemingly mischievous in manner, and almost a throwback to adolescent cheekiness, Robles has the audience regularly chuckling as he relates quirky stories about being a gay man, including his unsuccessful dating attempts, and gives impressions of coffee baristas (!) and acting lessons. It’s all very eclectic, and episodic, which is the show’s weakness: it never really sufficiently mines each funny line for everything that it can give, and as a result there is barely a narrative. The highlight of the show was his easy rapport with the audience whom he invites to banter with him, which they do, but perhaps a bit too much.
The show culminates with one audience member ‘performing’ a mini sketch on stage for which Robles has written the script. The text almost hearkens back to previous gags in the show, but doesn’t quite get there. This could have been a golden opportunity to create a story line for the entire show, and at the one was left wondering about what might have been.
When: 18 to 19 Mar
Where: Legends Bar