Audiences love Patrick Monaghan. How could they not? He has an affection for his fans that is as endearing as it is sincere. The hugs he doled out upon entering the Gilded Balloon Wine Bar might border on overfamiliar were it not for the boundless good-natured joviality that drives this comic forward. Few other comedians begin their set by dancing to Boro Boro; fewer will have, in the first two minutes, sufficiently buttered up their audience to get members to join them on stage.
The content of Monaghan’s set attempts to keep up this feel-good evangelistic atmosphere. After a slight come-down when the music stops and Monaghan susses out the audience demographic, the set focuses on what makes people happy. The answer, for Monaghan, is cake - among other things. The set is very relatable (almost to the point of mundanity) but it proves that it really is down to the way you tell ‘em. The content will appeal to most, proven by the nature of this audience-driven show, continually referential to the everyday characters that Monaghan has picked out of his audience.
The material of Cake Charmer is well-structured, without a lull, but a little forgettable. The familiarity of the set is its only downfall. However, there are some gags that you definitely won’t see anywhere else; Monaghan’s finale, for example, takes audience participation to a whole other level, yet its success comically and technically is testament to the show’s extraordinarily lovable quality. Cake Charmer is a wonderfully executed set from a talented comedian who knows what the people want and gives it to them in abundance.