The Birdmann has already been called a lot of things in this town—words like ‘oddball’, ‘mind-blowing’ and ‘surreal’. Returning to the city for a victory lap on the Uno stage, 2011’s Pick of the Fringe is just as rambunctious the second time round.
The show itself is a bit Seinfeld-meets-vaudevillian sketch in its eccentric take on nothingness but, more than anything, Birdmann is a giggle-worthy hour of silly and spectacularly-enacted joy.
Performer Trent Baumann has deftly blended a maze of observational one-liners with frat house party tricks that he brings new life to under the lens of absurdity. It helps that he also possesses a knack for flawless physical comedy rivaled only by his ability to pull off skinny, skinny jeans.
Underneath all of this tightly-scripted showmanship is a jumble of plot points: amongst others, the plastic bag problem in our oceans, parental advice on the bare essentials of life and the benefits of meditation. Having said that, my big takeaway was much simpler: The Birdmann is an exercise in play, in reclaiming childlike instincts (the ones that throw utensils across a room or, say, pour liquids through nostrils) to reinterpret the oddities that are put before us at any age.
If there’s a bigger message, I missed it between all of the laughs.
— Melanie Tromp Hoover