Review By Jessica Loeb
International Ventriloquist and all-round comedy sensation David Strassman has brought his new show The Chocolate Diet onto Australian shores and it is coated and filled with moments that will leave you in absolute hysterics and wanting more.
With a little help from his puppet Ted E. Bare, Strassman has created a comedic show that focuses on dieting, self-denial and one’s utmost love for all things chocolate. A subject that is all too real and relatable. Ted E. Bare, the puppet protagonist, talks us through his love for all things chocolate which not only leaves the packed out audience in stitches, but leaves them craving a diet we all wish we could live by. The highlight however, is Strassman’s ability to make you forget that they are merely just puppets. Especially so when Strassman tells Ted he needs to go on a healthier diet and audiences are left feeling sorry for poor Ted when he is hit with the harsh reality that Tim Tams are now officially off limits.
Whilst Ted E. Bare begins his diet, we as an audience are treated with the progression of his journey throughout the show. Without giving too much away, Ted goes through ups and downs (and also goes side to side) during his weight journey. Ted whips out hilarious one liners during conversations with Strassman that are undoubtedly hard not to laugh at, particularly during the improvisational parts. My favorite is Ted blaming chocolate for making his clothes shrink. I feel you, Ted!
Audiences are also treated to Strassman’s other incredible life-like puppets that are also facing the realities of addiction. Chuck Wood makes an appearance (and changes appearance) as he faces an identity crisis which will leave you bursting with laughter with his jarring performance and jokes that allude to a certain epidemic going on right now. We are also treated to Grandpa Fred, a heavily medicated bear who has a hilarious laugh and is not afraid to tell it how it is, or rather, what he’s on, and Sid Beaverman, who sweetens the audience with his terrible yet hilarious dad jokes which ultimately makes him want to quit comedy all together.
The second act continues to liven up the audiences when Kevin the Alien pays a visit to earth and evaluates the human species in a humorously cheeky way, truly convincing me that we as humans are screwed. Last on the list of Strassman’s puppet clan includes my personal favorite from the show, Buttons the Clown, emerging from the depths of his storage box in a drunken manner.
Strassman and his puppets put on a wondrous show that cannot be faulted. Not to mention his improvisation skills! The show is hilariously inventive and is all too relatable in today's society. It is no question that he is one of the greatest ventriloquists of our time. Not to mention the production value of it all makes the show just that much more worthy of seeing. The set in particular leaves you in search for chocolate after the show (which i may or may not have done).
The natural fluidity between Strassman and his puppets was an honour to observe and if you are a ventriloquist fan (or even if you aren't), i highly recommend buying tickets before it’s too late!
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.