The proliferation of whey protein and muscle supplements have been ripe enough for parody ever since Eric Cartman put on 500 pounds and yelled "BEEFCAKE" for all the world to hear. But in Josh Glanc’s show about a botched launch of new product "manfül" (pronounced ‘man fuel’ for those unfamiliar with the umlaut), the whole thing somehow still feels fresh.
Glanc plays muscleman-cum-neurotic Jewish kid Dicky Rosenthal who just wants to be a real man and for those around him to join in and stop being "dweeb-bags". The stage direction and Dickie’s infectious enthusiasm as he dances around wearing a high quality latex muscle suit make it an easy show to get on board with, and the ludicrous meshing of bodybuilding culture with musical theatre (in particular Fiddler on the Roof) plays as a nice juxtaposition alongside this insecure manboy’s attempt to prove himself.
There are notable lulls as Glanc, dressed like a jacked Groucho Marx, builds from set piece to set piece. But when those set pieces do arrive they are more than worth the wait, a gross out delight to bend you double and have you crying with laughter. It may not be the most high brow of hours here at the Fringe but it’ll certainly be one of the funniest and surprisingly touching shows you’ll find. A well-rounded character in an absurd scenario you can't help but root for.
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