Let’s get right to the point: Fotis Canyon is hilarious.
The setup for this show could not be simpler. Mike Fotis, a performer and writer from Minneapolis, sits at a table with a binder of stories and bottle of flavored water for fuel. He starts with a little preshow banter, and then reads a couple of his stories for the audience. If that sounds like not enough show for you, you are wrong.
You can tell from his opening chatter with the crowd that this dude is funny, unapologetic, ready to do what he does well and not worry about another unnecessary damn thing more.
Memorize lines — nope, don’t do that. Walk around the stage — nope, don’t do that either.
Read stories I wrote that are smart, rambling in the best, coolest way possible, slam-dunk comedic and self-deprecating while being ornery at the same time — yeah I can do that, and watch out for the heavy dose of high-octane energy that comes along with it. Cuss when it fits the rage and folly of the moment — yeah, that will happen too.
The storefront venue at Gateways to Healing is as barebones as the show. It was mentioned during the opening announcements that the owners had donated the use of the space to the Festival, so kudos to them for that. Take note, though, since Fotis is seated during most of the performance, sightlines are a little tricky. But honestly, I was laughing so much I really didn’t care.
Fotis told me afterwards that he changes out the stories for most of the performances, so running down his seemingly random plotlines is beside the point. Just know that there will be lines like this one, which was a favorite of mine from the performance I attended: “I do not want to say that I am a bad friend, but honestly, you do not want to share your weaknesses with me.”
Fotis Canyon is like those small, hole-in-the wall restaurants that have no décor and a menu that changes nightly depending on whatever the chef is in the mood to make. And you go because what’s served up is just joyful and brilliant.
FOTIS CANYON by Mike Fotis will be performed at 7:45 p.m. June 2, 8:30 p.m. June 3 and 9:15 June 5 at Gateways to Healing (1206 Main Street, Over-the-Rhine).
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