Dicky Rosenthal has a new lifestyle changing formula for you, and the products to go along with it. Manfül is memorable. It shocks, delights and pulls at your heart strings. It’s a wild ride into the psyche of an entrepreneurial mind, the vastly self-conscious mind of the stuttering Dicky Rosenthal. Spurred on by a childhood where Rosenthal was a Jewish “dweeb bag” Dicky is using this opportunity to run from his unmistakeable ethnicity in order to be come a “greater man,” and you’re there to watch the chaotic dismantling.
The audience ooh’s and ah’s from the get-go at Dicky’s enthusiastic and joyous strong-man moves. His warmth and happiness oozing through vibrant motions and motivational slurs. A few more dance moves, a couple of stories about Dicky’s childhood and we find ourselves in a comedy twilight zone where we play half psychologists, half audience members and half friends.* The show takes a dark dive when you are exposed to a few of Dicky’s demons. A slew of jokes and seamless interaction with the crowd, and it starts to feel more like a group experience than just a show. Dicky has extended his reach to everyone in the room (Except for one stiff in the front row, who’s partner loved it. I guess opposites do attract) and we are along for the ride.
This show is not for the faint of heart. Dicky Rosenthal strips himself down to the bare bottoms of his emotional layers and the audience ends up playing a large role in the atmosphere of the show. Watching a strong character unwrap themselves is a great experience, great entertainment and weirdly introspective.
Josh Glanc, the person behind Dicky Rosenthal and Manfül, nay the man, brings yet another great character to his ever growing repertoire. Admittedly, I am a fan. I have seen his other shows a few times and loved them. Josh’s dark, genuine, fully committed and dry comic style have you laughing till you’re exhausted and leave you emotionally confused – in a good way. There’s always a very human element to his shows and most certainly a good time. Manfül marks a big step towards brave and daring comedy that you normally have to search far and wide to see, but this time it’s convenient, in a muscle suit, full of sincerity with beautifully crafted, awkward glee.
*yes, we know Ben can’t count
Score: 9 Laughing induced butt clenches/10