Ivan Aristeguieta - Too Easy

Fringe Bar, 26-32 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

14/05/2024 - 15/05/2024

NZ International Comedy Festival 2024

Production Details

Ivan Aristeguieta

Say ‘Hola’ to your new favourite comedian!

Direct from Venezuela, via Australia, Ivan Aristeguieta will salsa his way into your heart with his vibrant, energetic and hilarioooos brand of comedy. After escaping the 3rd world, immigrating to the lucky country, and getting his own Paramount+ special – life’s pretty easy.

Google finds him everything. Siri tells him where to go. Even ChatGPT is writing this blurb. Too easy!

Now he’s back in NZ to make you laugh. Too Easy!

Winner – Best Newcomer 2016, Sydney Comedy Festival
Winner – Best Comedy Weekly Award 2017, 2022 & 2023, Adelaide Fringe
Most Outstanding Show nominee 2021, Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Venue: Fringe Bar
Dates: 14 & 15 May
Times: 8.30PM
Prices: $26 – $28
Booking link: Ivan Aristeguieta – Too Easy

Comedy , Theatre , Solo ,

60 minutes

Weaves multiple threads with consummate skill

Review by John Smythe 16th May 2024

When Ivan Aristeguieta decided to leave Venezuela he might have opted for New Zealand but it was “easier to get points” to emigrate to Australia, where he now lives – in Melbourne with his Australian girlfriend, Aleisha. What better place to discover he could become a comedian as a job! (Melbourne is undoubtedly the comedy capital of Australasia – and by the way, it was a Kiwi named John Pinder who arguably got that ball rolling in the 1970s … but I digress.)

The instantly likeable Ivan’s initial enquiry is into the oddities of English as a second language for a Spanish speaker. Given Spanish doesn’t differentiate between ‘in’, ‘on’ and ‘out’, his attempts to understand which terms to use in relation to a plane, bed, couch or floor have us figuratively rolling on the latter.

His coming to terms with the mysteries of ‘Punch Buggy’ also leads to fascinating cultural comparisons. His critique of engagement parties and weddings is sobering while the revelation of what Aleisha used to do and what she is now is funny. Likewise his assertion that everything they say in Spanish makes them sound … actually I think he says “erotic’ at first but it is “neurotic”.

Ivan even makes his quest for good mental health amusing, not least by weighing the relative merits of medication versus exercise versus “doing nothing all day” – which any creative artist will attest is not nothing, as proved by the way this hour of comedy material has evolved. Walking the dog is not nothing either, given the epistemological epiphany one such outing gave him – regarding Archery, as it happens. Thus our language-lover also delivers on his promise to use long words.

There is a point at which I recall Ivan’s show is called Too Easy, referring to how effortless Google, Siri and ChatGPT have made our lives. And yes, that does become his focus, exemplified by the recent Australia-wide experience known as The Optus Outage (last November). The true meanings of ancient adages involving such things as eggs, baskets, iron and heat are revealed as cautionary tales that make us think about how we make decisions and where we store our credit cards. (Is there an etymological link between Optus and options?)

Japan is lauded as a place that judiciously maintains an equilibrium between the ancient and modern, not least with its toilets – leading to more comedic hilarity. A return to linguistics by considering the difference between ‘accountability’, for which there is no Spanish word, and ‘responsibility’ leads to insights into Sumo Wrestling – of which Ivan and Aleisha are fans – and the ancient purpose of the gyōji’s dagger. We also glimpse where Ivan has been, and how accountability and responsibility are impacting his life choices now.

Woven within these entertaining enquiries, observations, musings and insights is the heartwarming story of Ivan’s relationship with Aleisha, from the opportunity Covid Lockdown afforded them, through sleeping with hypnic jerks to their plan to mark a special moment in Japan.

With consummate skill, Ivan Aristeguieta brings the multiple threads of his show together in a way that makes it look ‘too easy’, given the effort he must have put into it.

He’s in Auckland now, at the Basement Theatre Studio for the next two nights.


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