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Image courtesy of the Ottawa Fringe Festival

Fringe Review: Flabbergasted

By Brian Carroll on June 16, 2018

Image courtesy of the Ottawa Fringe Festival

Flabbergasted
by Ryan Schwarze, Mitch Muirhead & Ashley Krawchenko
Greg Houston Comedy

57 min / Comedy, Stand-Up, Sketch / PG

Public Service Announcement: Flabbergasted is a stand-up comedy show. This matters because 20% of the opening night audience didn’t know that. To be fair, it’s not obvious from the promo in the Fringe program which promises “fun” no less than 12 times, but makes no mention of stand-up.

Flabbergasted features local comics Rylan Schwarze, Mitch Muirhead and Ashley Krawchenko testing out brand new material. Some hits, some misses. For me personally, Ted Williams beat them with his best season batting average of .406, but they did better with the ladies in the audience. They each played a different character, plus Muirhead and Krawchenko played themselves.

The good news is that I did laugh. Not as often as the four ladies who formed the rest of the opening night audience, but I did. Schwarze’s character, David Love (?), pegged it when he said that the Fringe is a learning experience. No matter how funny they think their material is, comics will tell you the the real test is how the audience reacts.

Best of the lot was Krawchenko playing herself. Several of her jokes were original and funny, including “Why is gin called the panty peeler?” and her reactions to watching straight men dance. These had the whole audience guffawing loudly.

Schwarze’s alter ego, David Love, does decent impressions. His impressions of Jesus and Donald Trump were his best material.

Mitch Muirhead as himself didn’t make me take notes, but his material certainly made the ladies laugh.

Have you heard the one about the goth comic? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Krawchenko’s alter ego has a CD titled: “It’s My Party and I’ll Die if I Want To”.

There are more than 10,000 deaths in Shakespeare, but there was only one death on stage for opening night of Flabbergasted. Muirhead’s character Bobby Bragfast (?) was dying on stage. His material drew dead air more often than not. To be honest, Bobby was allowed to exit before death was confirmed.

Let’s hope Schwarze, Muirhead and Krawchenko will either replace the jokes that bombed, or will tighten up the show by paring down to the material that worked. There’s a 35-minute show here begging to be released from its 60-minute cage.

The last sentence in the Fringe program promo for Flabbergasted is: “Don’t see this show.”


Flabbergasted is playing at Studio Léonard-Beaulne until Saturday June 23, 2018. Tickets cost $12. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.