James Mustapic – Into the Multi-Media-Verse
BATS Theatre, The Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
16/05/2023 - 20/05/2023
NZ International Comedy Festival 2023
James Mustapic shatters the Multi-Media-Verse and travels to strange, new dimensions. Join James on his journey as he meets different versions of himself – ‘Straight James’, ‘Psychic James’, ‘Goth James’, and more. He may even encounter new versions of his mum Janet along the way too!
Price: $20 – $25
Comedian – James Mustapic
Comedy , Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Solo ,
Masterful comedy plus fascinating alter egos
Review by Margaret Austin 17th May 2023
To herald his entry to the Stage at BATS, our performer invites us to “Make some noise”. I’m wondering if James Mustapic, or anyone in the audience, is aware of the origin of this by now obligatory and somewhat clichéd demand. Apparently, it originates from Mahatma Ghandi, no less. Mustapic’s mission probably isn’t comparable to Ghandi’s, but we’ll forgive him.
There are no props onstage; just a lectern and a laptop – oh, and a screen. Well, check the show title. That’s it – plus Mustapic and a microphone.
“Make some noise if you love to laugh” is followed by far less edifying ‘ifs’. It’s immediately clear that Mustapic musta stacked his auditorium with fans – I’ve checked with my neighbours. They’re ready to laugh at almost anything he says. (I miss some of it – too busy scribbling down the best bits.)
Screens onstage are becoming de rigueur: Mustapic’s use of his is masterful. We get photos of who he’s talking about and in some cases we’re invited to guess their profession. How about “ghost investigator and past life fabric designer”? This introduction of the psychic is a theme our performer uses to comic effect.
An encounter with middle aged women and their misplaced concern provides fodder for comedy, as does an admission of being sexually attracted to leadership skills. Judith Collins and David Seymour constitute political targets. And he’s not afraid of making an inappropriate choice of Oscar nominee on television. Mustapic’s Mum gets special treatment: her favourite recipe is Loaf Around, and she wants a Spotify playlist.
But we cannot escape dark forces. Warnings of these appear periodically onscreen and Mustapic must pic a fight with them. A comedian is usually onstage by him or herself – in Mustapic’s case, it’s him and some fascinating alter egos. I’m not sure which one I’m most entertained by.
If you are a Mustapic fan already, you’ll be seeing this show. If you’re not, go anyway and you will be.
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