Comic Genius is “Fricken” funny. It’s High Fidelity (Nick Horby) meets The Sopranos. Dan Frick has written a memoir style series that has a strong structure and ballsy, instantly lovable characters. The stage reading/T.V. pilot peepshow introduces the audience to the family “Frick”. These are NOT descendants of Henry Clay Frick (perhaps a twisted side branch of that family tree) but are instead a band of fraudsters, con men, charmers and snakes. In this part memoir, part fantasy, Dan Frick exposes his own nuclear family’s stubborn, explosive, hilarious streak. (D.B. says its 85% fact). This situational comedy is destined for digital greatness. It is seeking a screen to beam its brand of human fallout right into your living room. It’s a fast paced, witty, “punny” high-speed chase through the memories of a man grown in the fecund soil of eccentricity. His upbringing gave him plenty of material to cultivate an observant storyteller, able to mine his own crazy past to deliver original, compelling content.
While there is an intention for the work to become a long running television series I think it also has some glorious theatrical elements that would translate perfectly to the stage. The trio of the two “Frick” brothers and the “best friend” Rahul could be the three stooges of the 21st century. They have a powerful rapport and they seem to be having some serious fun. Their joy in playing the scenes is infectious.
The cast that was assembled for the “birthing” of this new comedy were all totally fabulous. Dan Frick as Dan Frick is authentic and honest as “himself”. He is a bold, audacious performer with a commanding presence and sensational voice. He is more than capable of headlining a series.
Charles Goonan as the ex-con, present pilferer brother , Steven Frick, is like Joe Pesci on speed with the charm of Frank Sinatra and the comic timing of Steve Carrell. He is a fireball, the wild card, the punchline pit bull. Rahul Andrade as Joe Suste played the perfect sidekick best friend. He was laconic and deliciously low key. An ideal foil to for the two “Frick” loons. Nikki Chawla, as the hyper sexed mother Rose, was great at making you cringe all over with her inappropriate lasciviousness. Liana S. Alfuni played the daughter of Steven Frick – Sloan Kane like a heavy metal butterfly. She was full of hard edges and soft contrasts. Just lovely! Joe Dixon played a load of characters, including Mr. T, with a feisty high energy. Hopefully he will get to play a range of recurring roles in the series because he is entirely delightful. David Koran read the stage directions like a deadpan clown. I just loved it. It would be wonderful to see him incorporated as some kind of narrator that sets the scene, maybe a neighbor, because he is a great counter balance to the high stakes “drama’ playing out.
I laughed out loud a few times. You can see the potential for the characters and situations to have a very long life. I am waiting in anticipation for the pilot/premiere.
Comic Genius: In the Frick of the Night stage reading took place at Stone Creek on Monday December 3, 7:00pm.