It’s possible you’ve seen the likeness of ‘Big’ Mike Geier’s character Puddles before. Shaved head. Covered with white face paint. A little bent crown worn poutily to the side. He’s got the appearance of a completely bald John Malkovich, paired with the wild tenacity of Will Ferrell's Mugatu and an unexpectedly impressive singing voice. His show is both hilarious and heartwarming – one of the wackiest events at Fringe this summer.
Puddles Pity Party is totally original and heartwarming – a must-see show.
Full of fun audience interaction, including impromptu karaoke duets, and several full-audience sing-alongs, Puddles is a wild good time. Geier sings enormous emotion-drenched rock ballads. He’s an improbably vaudeville Elton John, complete with a Rudolph-red nose.
Geier performs his songs in front of a large screen, and much of the humor of this show arises from the juxtapositions of onstage action, on-screen action, and lyrical content. Furthermore, if any one element of the action is lacking, the other parts of the performance deftly pick up the slack. For example, when a rendition of Coldplay’s Fix You threatens to be the low-point of an otherwise excellent set, Geier redeems the minor weak points of the song’s performance with hilarious on-screen footage (which I won’t spoil here). The whole audience was laughing like mad before the song was even halfway finished.
Puddles is a fantastically lovable character. He plays out all the silly and sad and pathetic realities of being an average adult: often wanting to be a kid again; getting one’s heart crushed; loving coffee like nothing else on earth. Puddles, through his passionate singing and performance shenanigans, manages to dig to the human core of cheesy pop songs and top-tens rock-ballads, to incredibly moving effect. He sings directly to his audience, bringing people up onstage to serenade them (and feed them bite-sized desserts). “No one is safe,” I heard someone in the audience shout to a friend, laughing, as Puddles chose his fifth or sixth “victim.” But no one seemed to mind being on stage. Everyone seemed to follow Geier’s example and give it their all, singing and dancing with him to huge applause.
Infectious smiles are guaranteed. The show is a delightful hour of covers, mashups, and singalongs – performed by the most charming, lovable sad clown you’ll ever meet. Puddles Pity Party is totally original and heartwarming – a must-see show.