At first glance, actor Ashley Jones appears so entirely average that you’ll insist you must have met him before, but I can pretty much guarantee you’ve never seen an acrobatic clowning show as cleverly complex as Generic Male. In this virtuoso showcase of both verbal and physical gymnastics, Jones and his overbearing stage manager (Darren Stevenson) harass hapless audience members into helping them perform a slickly executed series of physical comedy skits skewering stereotypes of masculinity. Kicking off with a synchronized dance number in possessed sweatpants and an absurdly overblown argument over stolen seating, the show only gets more surreal from there. This pair doesn’t merely break through the fourth wall; they tear it down entirely and dance merrily on the rubble.
The staging of some moments involving costume changes and wired microphones were clunky, leading to a few uncomfortably slow transitions during the press preview. However, the pair swiftly recovered with a moving military mime solo, followed by a wondrous weight-balancing duet highlighting the balletic beauty of male connection that becomes the show’s enduring image. Generic Male is like Cirque du Soleil meets Samuel Beckett with a dash of Monty Python, a combination that I enthusiastically endorse for all audiences, whether or not you support the premise that the generic white male patriarchy needs to perish.Tickets and show info: Generic Male: Just What We Need, Another Show About Men