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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Review- Love, Humiliation & Karaoke (MITF)

The Fab Marquee review by Diánna Martin.

Enzo Lombard's Love, Humiliation, & Karaoke is a one-man show that takes the audience through the life and times of a gay HIV positive man who is trying to believe that love still exists - despite the odds that his life thus far has taught him. One  of the things that makes this show unique among one-man performances is the personal nature of it; for not only is he taking us on a ride through different times and places in his life that he experienced, but Lombard shares intimate details about himself as he does so - and portrays a hilarious, bittersweet love story that keeps you at the edge of your seat.

From the top of the show, Lombard brings to life several different characters from his past including his Southern boyfriend, his Scottish pal from school abroad, his mother, his Transvestite karaoke-singing neighbor, and several more, as he weaves a path from NYC to San Francisco to Amsterdam; as he takes us from present day to 1995 to 1989 and back again. These are brought to us as a series of flashbacks where he will be discussing something and then lead into another scene with "and that remembered me of the time when..." and the next bit begins. In between are moments when he sings a song that brings up memories for him in relation to the scene at hand: "Another way to rate a breakup is...the music that makes you fall apart when you're going through it. If you're losing it to, like, Air Supply, or anything on lite-FM ... it is not good."

Whereupon he falls into "I'm All Out Of Love" by said band.

Overall, it is a delightful show and had me riveted and laughing throughout most of it. His great accents and portrayals of people from his past and present and how they all lead up to where he is today, make for great character studies, and it's really lovely to watch him, without costume changes, embody the characters and then shift back to himself - creating a dialogue. I was moved many times by the love story between the man that he finally decides can accept him for who he is; and that he can accept himself in giving in to love.

My only problem was that sometimes I was confused about why the Karaoke was so important. I know that it was part of the title and songs have meaning in our lives and remind us of the people from those times that we shared them with, or that we heard when events occurred. He talks about his neighbor at the top of the show who sings karaoke, but I wasn't sure about its relevance as much...until I read the script. Perhaps it was due to MITF length constraints that parts were cut out, but a few of the scenes and fragments of scenes that explain the importance of the Karaoke, and his being a competitor, were left out. It wasn't until I read the script that I was then able to appreciate it. So, I would recommend that he leave it in its full length so the audience gets the full effect.

I think Lombard's piece will make anyone who is a romantic and who has lived in weird, fun places with relatively strange and unique people will find themselves nodding and having fun, for the story is just too well-told not to.


Love, Humiliation & Karaoke was presented as part of the 2009 Midtown International Theatre Festival (now closed). For more information on the artist, visit

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