Adjunct Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University. CEO at Westmoreland Coal. CEO at Telescpectrum Worldwide. President and CEO at Jackson Hewitt. President and CEO at Farm Fresh Inc. This is not the CV of a Fringe performer. At least not usually. But this year Keith Alessi has come to Fringe to show as that even a recovering executive might have something to offer the arts. This show is exactly the kind of intimate and vulnerable performance we come to the Fringe to see.
I am not particularly a banjo fan, but after seeing this show I now understand the appeal. Alessi weaves beautiful stories for us, some moving, some funny, but all are accompanied and enhanced by the 3 banjos he has on stage with him. For the banjo enthusiasts in the group you will be tickled by the occasional banjo joke and Alessi’s solo performances of some very famous songs, and one at least he wrote himself.
Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos Saved my Life has toured Canada’s Fringe scene from Toronto, through Edmonton and now in Vancouver. Next Alessi will be taking his show international and heading over to Australia. Working with a very talented group of performers, Alessi may be a newcomer to Fringe, but I don’t think it will be his last time charming an audience from the stage. Check out his website TomatoesTriedToKillme.com to enjoy some of Alessi’s favourite places, banjo builders and music. He is also offering comp tickets on his website, so if you feel like you need to see this show, but are tight on cash, you can email them and request one.
Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos Saved my Life is playing at Carousel Theatre 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Brieanna Fiander
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