Fringe NYC Review: ‘From Busk Till Dawn: The Life of an NYC Street Performer’
Tim Intravia has performed for years as a silver statue in and around Times Square, working for tips on his soap box pedestal, performing a short “robot” dance for those who tip—and a much more intricate routine for those who tip generously. Sure, it sounds like an easy job, but as he assures us in his one man show, From Busk Till Dawn, it isn’t easy at all—he’s just good at what he does.
Intravia shows in his 45 minute piece that it can get lonely being a mute statue on the streets of New York City. Since he can’t talk to passers-by for obvious reasons, he instead forms a friendship with a trashcan that he names Troy (he likes alliteration), to which/whom he spills his story to—from his run-ins with the cops, who make him dance for his freedom from a senseless arrest, to his obsession with the “lotion lady,” who works at a lotion shop across the street from his post and has an interesting obsession with his silver body paint…
The story is comical and endearing, and at the same time, also a bit upsetting—no matter what he does, there’s no escaping mockery and having people ask him to “do the robot” for them. Not to mention, as a professional actor, sometimes the simplicity of the job and the interactions he encounters on the street can become degrading, even if it does pay the bills.
Intravia’s comic timing is impeccable, however, making even the sad moments funny. Through his complaints about the struggle to be the “next big thing,” he’s still entertaining, far beyond just an actor whining about his life for an hour. Intravia has a certain cynicism and sarcasm to his act that endears him to the audience, even at his most surly moments. In the end, Intravia shows that he’s not a bad guy—it’s just the job that gets to him.
If you’re easily offended, be warned that in From Busk Till Dawn, Intravia feely and openly uses profanities to get his point across (and rightly so) and also admits that he may be somewhat racist (but then again, if we’ve learned anything from Avenue Q, everyone’s a little bit racist). In the end, though, it’s these honest moments that humanize him and make us realize that he is more than just a statue on the streets of NYC—he’s a real person just trying to survive like the rest of us.
While many one-person shows can be hit or miss, it is without a doubt that Intravia’s piece is a hit. He has already won the “Best One Man Comedy” award at the 2011 United Solo Theatre Festival, and From Busk Till Dawn definitely has the potential to continue to garner praise from critics and audiences alike. If you’re a comedy fan, a disgruntled actor, a NYC resident or tourist who wonders what life as a street performer is like or just a common theatregoer who wants to take in a short but extremely entertaining show, check out From Busk Till Dawn during this year’s Fringe Festival.
From Busk Till Dawn: The Life of an NYC Street Performer runs three more times: Sunday, August 19, at 9:45 p.m.; Friday, August 24, at 5 p.m.; and Saturday, August 26, at 4 p.m. at the Gene Frankel Theatre at 24 Bond St. in Manhattan. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Visit FringeNYC.org for tickets and more information on From Busk Till Dawn as well as all the plays at this year’s festival. You can also catch Intravia in his new web series, Parker & Steve, in late September.
This article was originally published on AllMediaNY.com
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