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PLANT PSYCHIC/DISORDER Goethe Mainstage Remaining Performances: Jul 12th 4:30 pm Jul 17th 7 pm Jul 18th 1 pm Jul 26th 1 pm

They Say: “Double Pleasure Double Fun: 2 2 shows in One! DISORDER — PakratPatty combats ‘Collector-itis’ & ‘Disposophobia’ in light-hearted look at OCD. Will Clutter Hoarding ==> Utter Chaos? Will PP vanquish compulsion Let Nothing Go? PLANT PSYCHIC — Twisted Photosynthesis. 2gether Nightly; Order Alternates.”

Matt’s Take: My ability to stand up against peer pressure has never been what it should be, but one trap to which I never succumbed was collegiate excursions to comedy clubs. The dank rooms, the two-drink minimums, the jokes about the subway and the dentist: even then it reeked of sadness and desperation. So you could imagine my surprise when PLANT PSYCHIC turned out to be little more than a stand-up routine featuring comedian David Coyne cracking jokes about a plastic plant named Barbara. In the forty minutes, Mr. Coyne magically transported me to an evening at the Ha Ha Hole I never knew I longed for with jokes about the audience “looking at his package” and “homofolliagesapiens being called pansies.” Wakka wakka! Perhaps PLANT PSYCHIC is intended meant as high-concept performance art in the key of Andy Kaufman. Or, more likely, Mr. Coyne used his Fringe spot as a means of trying out new material without the risk of getting the hook. At one point, using a pun he’s been hanging onto since middle school, Mr. Coyne said he was suffering from reptile dysfunction which was “sad and humiliating.” I couldn’t agree more.

Next was DISORDER, one woman’s rumination on the inability to let go of her stuff. Producer/Actress Hilary Kacser stuffs a lot of ideas into her OCD-riddled protagonist Pakrat Patty, showing how gradually ‘normal’ behavior can lead to an unhealthy obsession with accumulation. Billed as a workshop production, Kacser seems unsure about the piece’s tone. Not humorous nor tragic—either one a possibility with this material—Patty reads as devoid of personality, as Kacser concerns herself more with the exposition of a story (Patty reads from a book for large stretches) than with the emotional resonance of the show’s themes. Like Patty, Kacser herself could benefit from steadier footing.

See it if: You long for the days of rainbow suspender wearing comedians.

Skip it if: Schadenfreude at the Goethe Institute is not how you like to spend your evenings.