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SHOW UP

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Venue:The Counting House, 38 West Nicolson Street Edinburgh EH8 9DD
Phone: 0131 667 7533
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: Free  
Room: The Lounge
AUG 3-13, 15-20, 22-27 at 15:30 (60 min)
 
Show Image

Pete (Desperately Seeking the Exit, Late with Lance!) turns the often vilified clichés of the solo show genre on their clichéd heads. Using an arsenal of Post-it® Notes, Pete transforms the real-life audience experiences into a comedic, vibrant, life-story that's daring and different each time. You get to control the content, set and sound for this improvised solo show about your tragic life. And there’s a party! 'Hilarious' ***** (Front Row Center, NYC)


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News and Reviews for this Show

August 27, 2017  Fringe Guru
"Showing up is 80% of life." The quote's attributed to Woody Allen, but Fringe veteran Peter Michael Marino has made it his own – booking an hour-long slot at a premier free venue, and then, if you believe him, simply turning up to perform. It's not quite true of course; a lot of careful preparation's gone into this interesting solo show, but it's still a rousing testament to the freedom of spontaneity and a rallying-cry for Marino's second motto, "Don't think, do".

The opening segment is a perfectly serviceable stand-up routine, built round anecdotes from Marino's past life. He talks about the "misfortune" (for a comedian) of having a happy family, discusses the unreliability of memory, and gently skewers the Catholic Church. It's all reassuringly familiar material, but there's a hint of pain visible under the surface. And it proves to be the warm-up for a memorable second act – where Marino delivers on his "don't think" mantra by improvising a story, helped or hindered by a "stage manager" and "technician" he selects from his front row.

There's plenty of improvised work at the Fringe these days, but Show Up stands out because it isn't overtly comic. There's humour there of course, and Marino works in a good smattering of hilarious lines, but at heart he weaves a serious story – which on the day I attended, took a surprisingly dark yet somehow fitting turn. The narrative did wander from time to time, but there were also elegant call-backs, and a clever metaphor comparing NASCAR racing to passage through life.

The show is distinguished, as well, by the rapport Marino builds with his audience, and the genuinely supportive atmosphere he creates in the room. In place of the normal patterns of comic improv (shout out a location! a hilarious profession! a type of fruit!), Marino uses trigger words like "family" to gather stories from his audience – which he summarises onto Post-It notes, and respectfully works into his plot. On the day I attended there were plenty of people who wanted to share their secrets, and Marino successfully found the essence of both outrageous and more sober responses to feature in his improvised storyline.

So what's the point of it all? It's subtly done – but there's a darker tale lurking here, about what happens when the urge to show up deserts you. Marino's ultimate message is that even when we're not ready for what the world throws at us, the first step is just to carry on. It's an affirming thought, which Marino matches with an unexpected and touching conclusion. All in all then, this unusual performance is well worth showing up to. Click Here

August 27, 2017  Bunbury Magazine
The first and most important thing to say about Show Up, Peter Michael Marino’s latest one-man show, is that it is not written by nor is it about Peter Michael Marino. This show, as made clear on the flyer, is about the ‘shite life’ of the audience. This is a show that is completely new and fresh every day, written off the back of suggestions from the audience. Because of this, the show is brand new every day.

It would take a brave performer indeed to improvise an entire hour every day on their own. It would take an incredibly funny and intelligent performer to be able to do this. Luckily, Peter Michael Marino is a performer of great intelligence, wit and enough energy to light up the entirety of The Counting House (I think. I’m not an electrician but that seems about right).

The first half of the show is that set up for the improvisation. Peter has eight post-it notes with categories written on them such as ‘Family’, ‘Addiction’ and ‘Childhood’. He takes suggestions from the audience based on these categories, segueing into his own tales then back to the people in the room. This helps draw the crowd in on an immediately personal level. All of these suggestions build towards the second-half, which is a traditional ‘one-man show’, which perfectly parodies the melo-drama of the form. The inclusive feel in the room is extended when he choose audience members to direct the play and the sound-scaping.

Peter is a deeply engaging performer who always leaves the crowd with a message. This will be the same message I will leave you with here. Just Show Up. You will never see this show again, and you don’t want to miss out! Click Here

August 24, 2017 The Sick of the Fringe
Woody Allen’s statement, made years ago, that ‘80 percent of life is showing up’, is the theory behind Peter Michael Marino’s show, Show Up. The production is more a happening for the audience than something to sit and watch. As a group, they are making something happen just because they are there. Marino, too, believes that showing up is most of the battle, not just for entertainment but for living a good life. ‘Doing is so much easier than thinking about it’, he says.

Research has shown that he has a good point. He provides a wild, unpredictable ride for his audience commenting on his own social anxiety and performance challenges. When the improvisation begins to happen, one can see the visible changes in audience attitude. They become absorbed in creating a brand new original show based on their own random contributions before the actual story begins. When each person becomes involved in thinking of incidents from their childhood, about addiction or their love life, they are focusing on sharing with others rather than whatever personal problems they might have. Any anxiety or shyness evaporates because everyone is involved together in a group endeavour. In fact, any situation where a group works together builds confidence in the individual members. By including his audience in his production, Marino creates an unforgettable experience and turns audiences into participants and co-creators.

Marino tells his audience that creating these stories from incidents they provide lifts him from depression - the unsaid implication is that it does for everyone involved in the show as well. Psychologists tell us he is right. When you’re depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate. Even reaching out to close family members and friends can be tough. Compound that with the feelings of shame and the guilt you may feel at neglecting your relationships. Unless you reach out to others, you’re in a downward spiral you’re unable to stop. This dark cloud need not be permanent. The good news is that social support is absolutely essential to depression recovery. Staying connected to other people and the outside world will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. In showing up to Show Up, people find themselves totally involved with a group of strangers in an enjoyable project. They love the show but what they do not realize is that they also ARE the show.
- Lynn Ruth Miller Click Here

August 21, 2017 Fringe Review
Highly Recommended Show
Low Down

“Pete (Desperately Seeking the Exit, Late with Lance!) uses his decades of solo performance expertise to turn the often vilified clichés of the genre on their clichéd heads. Using an arsenal of Post-it Notes, Pete transforms real life audience experiences into a comedic, vibrant, life story that’s daring and different each time. You get to control the content, set and sound for this socially anxious show about you. And there’s a party!”

Review

Peter Marino’s show has a charm that never feels cheesy. Audience interaction feels authentic – the man is genuinely interested in what we have to say. As a resukt we all lean forward and join in. It’s an interactive hour, intersting, moving, full of fun and “funny”. We are in the hands of a charismatic performer who blends brash with humble and the result is something original, rooted in traditional improv, Marino’s own unique style and flavour; we are hosted, we feel welcome, an integral part of the proceedings, yet we all know it is this man, this solo performer who successful makes theatre a shared experience. Rare and special work from the get-go.

Our input is part of a satisfying collaboration – we share in the worry, the panic as the clock ticks by. Is there enough material for the second half an hour – a “part 2” of the whole enterprise where the thoughts and stories we have offered from our own lives form the building blocks for an improvised story offered back to us by Marino, with the help of audience-based stage managers and music cue-ers. It’s all done with an angsty ease which also forms part of the fun-painy-comedy.

This show uses improv but goes further into “improvisation”. We aren’t just throwing in suggestions – the staple of many improv shows – we are co-creating with the performer; and if that sounds a bit heavy – it isn’t. It’s fun and engaging and there’s a depth to this show, largely delivered by Marino’s quick-fire witty responses that gives the proceedings a philosophical and emotional edge. He throws a lot of one-liners away – seemingly but they are all really necessary paint on the collective comedy canvas.

We learn lessons about life and there’s an underlying ideology, a conclusion drawn by our host, that life is as much about showing up as it is about what we achieve. More so, in fact, for sometimes is all we can do, but that act is everything. Showing up is a great equaliser – it’s a choice we can all make at any time.

Throughout the hour, Marino is in an improvational flow state, a flow interrupted and scuppered only by his humanity, a vulnerability anchored to the “script”, a script that represents safety and failing memory and is ultimately a little bit of theatrical genius – a comedy prop, a clown-style, a safe harbour, a limitation on that very flow, but also a guide to where we all are, where “now” is, and an opportunity to set sail, into unhinged waters. We can all improvise, create the next moments without being sure of the results- but we have to show up for that to be possible. The core message of this show is also its strong virtue as theatre. It’s a simple message but somehow voids feeling cheesy or too preachy.

The audience loved every minute, there was laughter aplenty but we also sailed into the rocky waters of love, loss, uncertainty and depression. We made the show. He made the show. And when there was no show, at least we had all showed up, and that was a collective reason to cheer and show off. I felt the ending did feel a bit too polemic-ish. We didn’t need the show’s core message to be spelled out too much by the performer before we lift. We could draw our own conclusions on the way out. Sometimes silence is better and less is more.

I enjoyed and valued Show Up. I participated but that wasn’t the key thing. Just showing up was the big payoff. You should show up for this too. Highly recommended. Click Here

August 17, 2017  The Edinburgh Reporter
Peter Michael Marino (Desperately Seeking the Exit, Late with Lance!) turns the often vilified clichés of the solo show genre on their clichéd heads. Using an arsenal of Post-it® Notes, Pete transforms the real-life audience experiences into a comedic, vibrant, life-story that’s daring and different each time. You get to control the content, set and sound for this improvised solo show about your tragic life. And there’s a party!

Picking a show at the Fringe is never easy. Sometimes you go if it’s a performer you know, have heard good press about or because somebody wants you to chum them. Sometimes a poster or a flyer has enough in it to draw you in. Occasionally you’ll get a performer who’s flyering and does such a good pitch that you go and see their show. Peter Michael Marino did that to me yesterday in the street; in around 90 seconds he’d convinced me to take a chance on Show Up and I’m glad I did.

Over the course of an hour, Marino examines what the solo confessional show is about and entails. He’s no stranger to the genre and this performance is sharp, witting and engaging.

Instead of dealing with the performer’s hang-ups, neuroses or past failings, the audience is presented with an amalgamation of the audiences’ experiences. If anything, it proves you don’t have to be artistic to have a tragic life that can be mined for comedic results.

Despite the appearance of being an improvised show, I’d say Show Up is the result of a keen and witty mind who knows how to take different ideas, meld them together and run with the result. I really enjoyed the show and laughed from start to end. I was also pleased to learn that the rest of the audience is even more screwed up and scarred than me, which made me feel good inside.

Do not go and see this show if you want to sit back and have a show fed to you by a straw; this is one you’re going to have to contribute to.

However, enter it in the right spirit and you’ll be well rewarded. Marino knows the format and how to play with it, as well as how to judge an audience. If you think you get what you pay for at the Free Fringe, go and see Show Up and realise how wrong you are. Click Here

August 14, 2017 Lothian's Ken
Picking a show at the Fringe is never easy. Sometimes you go if it’s a performer you know, have heard good press about or because somebody wants you to chum them. Sometimes a poster or a flyer has enough in it to draw you in. Occasionally you’ll get a performer who’s flyering and does such a good pitch that you go and see their show. Peter Michael Marino did that to me yesterday in the street; in around 90 seconds he’d convinced me to take a chance on Show Up and I’m glad I did.

Over the course of an hour, Marino examines what the solo confessional show is about and entails. He’s no stranger to the genre and this performance is sharp, witting and engaging. Instead of dealing with the performer’s hang-ups, neuroses or past failings, the audience is presented with an amalgamation of the audiences’ experiences. If anything, it proves you don’t have to be artistic to have a tragic life that can be mined for comedic results. Despite the appearance of being an improvised show, I’d say Show Up is the result of a keen and witty mind who knows how to take different ideas, meld them together and run with the result. I really enjoyed the show and laughed from start to end. I was also pleased to learn that the rest of the audience is even more screwed up and scarred than me, which made me feel good inside.

Do not go and see this show if you want to sit back and have a show fed to you by a straw; this is one you’re going to have to contribute to. However, enter it in the right spirit and you’ll be well rewarded. Marino knows the format and how to play with it, as well as how to judge an audience. If you think you get what you pay for at the Free Fringe, go and see Show Up and realise how wrong you are. Click Here

August 11, 2017  Broadway Baby
Peter Michael Marino greets the audience as we arrive. He’s bouncing about with a nervous energy that he uses to work the crowd and ensure everyone is settled in before he begins his one man show. It’s a one man show with a difference though; Marino is going to tell the story of our lives, not his.

The first half of Show Up is part stand-up, part group therapy as Marino shares with us his theory that showing up is 80% of life. He tells us a bit about his past failures and the daily struggles of dealing with his social anxiety and fading memory. He’s a likeable fellow who clearly wants us to feel at ease and, when a (to be honest) very well framed joke on the subject of Alzheimer’s causes some slight offence from a trio of ladies in the audience, he is quick to apologise for their discomfort and assures them that, in the context of the rest of the show, they’ll understand the placing of the gag. It’s an awkward moment handled with grace and respect and, although the ladies remain unconvinced and eventually leave early, the rest of the audience obviously side with Marino and warm to him even further.

The second half sees Marino explain the concept of the show; we are to provide him with stories from our lives that he will use to craft a typical one-man show. With some assistance from an audience member to stage manage and another to handle the sound design, Marino launches into a hilarious improvised tale (based entirely on audience suggestions) that tells the story of one man’s struggle with violent, cheese-making parents, an obsession with cemeteries, a run for political office and a final, happy marriage to a lesbian ex-con. There’s even a couple of songs thrown in.

Marino has created a unique hour of entertainment buy taking the overplayed solo show format and fashioning an improvised comedy routine that works all the better for the audience’s connection to the source material. Click Here

August 8, 2017  The Wee Review (previously TV Bomb)
Billed as a one-man show “about your shite life”, Show Up subverts the clichés and tropes you might expect from a solo performance. Creator and performer Peter Michael Marino is practically a Fringe veteran. Previous shows include the critically lauded Desperately Seeking the Exit and Late with Lance, so at this point Marino knows how to work the crowd.

Show Up is really two or three (or four) experiences in one. The set begins with Marino unfolding the origins of the show and he is immediately frank and honest about himself and the mindset that drives his work; this improv show isn’t just fun and fluff. The performer is direct about his own social anxieties and experiences with depression, drawing on personal memories to engage and provoke us. But this is never morose or self-pitying. The comic consistently punches out jokes, even at his own expense and has us cackling. We subsequently dip into audience participation and this is what informs the crux of the show. We are now the co-writers, creating the next act as we are probed for information from Marino about crucial memories and life moments – preferable funny or heinous, sometimes both at the same time. Of course this often results in hilarious combinations as the audience calls out their suggestions.

And then the show really begins. Crowd members are also recruited as sound technicians and stage managers, given free will to design the improv show’s set and atmosphere, which Marino skilfully navigates with ease at the change of each scene. Today’s show involves a dancer who lives with autism and a taxidermied cat who discovers a talent for personal training. It’s bizarre, manic and hilarious. And every other performance during the run will produce an entirely new and wacky mini-play.

It is during this main section of the show that it becomes clear Marino isn’t just skilled with standup and audience banter. He is also a compelling actor, drawing us in with moments that are funny, ridiculous and even poignant at times. And Marino’s key strength is his seemingly endless energy, making The Counting House’s Lounge space feel like a packed theatre.

Show Up provides brilliant laughs and is worth repeat visits to fully appreciate its ever-changing nature. However, it also channels an optimistic message to the audience about seizing opportunities and ‘showing up’ to your own life. Click Here

May 20, 2017 Freeline Media Orlando
Fringe Review: Show Up
Staging a solo show at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival offers the artists plenty of wide latitude: they can do comedy, musical performances, historic period pieces, magic shows … the sky’s the limit.
There must be a considerable amount of appeal to being a one-man band, booking a slot at Fringe and then not having to rely on other performers to make it on time. As long as you arrive at Loch Haven Park breathing and fully intact, you’re going to go.
Solo performer Peter Michael Marino, however, approaches the concept a bit differently in his production “Show Up.” He actually starts out solo, but then brings a large number of others in the mix — the audience.
It’s a lot of fun, too, and takes audience interaction to some delightful new heights.
Marino, a gay Catholic boy from Joisey, approaches “Show Up” — the title taken from the old Woody Allen line that 80 percent of life is just showing up — on two intriguing concepts: free form improv, and giving the audience a key role in the action. He succeeds nicely at both.
Marino, the creator/co-producer of SOLOCOM, a program that’s launched more than 400 comedies at The People’s Improv Theater, starts out talking about himself, who he is, why he’s here. Highly animated, quick with a clever line, and a very funny chronicler of his own life, he could probably have created a show just talking about himself. But that was only the intro of this 60-minute show. He has much more ambitious goals in mind.
That includes asking questions of the audience, selecting someone, and asking for their answer. Suffice to say that at the performance I attended, he had some audience members who were pretty funny on their own — and Marino is a fine match for them, locking them into a witty back-and-forth repartee.
He then jots down their answers, and …. well, I won’t reveal much more than that. But he does have some imaginative plans for those answers.
Along the way, Marino involves the audience in other ways — selecting one person to become his stage manager and rearrange the set pieces in-between monologues, assigning another to become the music director to play background music at key moments, and so on.
At the end, the show even transforms into a grand cocktail party. I got the feeling that most people in the audience were having such a good time, they didn’t want the party to end.
Marino’s show truly does feel like no two performances are ever going to be the same, and if you had a fun time at one of them, there’s no reason not to go back for seconds and again watch what he does with those Post-it Notes.
Or just go to listen to his hilarious recollections of growing up, and where his life is now. Click Here

February 21, 2017  The Front Row Center
Hilarious! Spot on!
 Click Here

February 21, 2017 Woman Around Town
Putting it Together - Show Up Review
One-man shows are hard. Improv shows are harder. But a one-man improv show? SHOW UP, written and performed by Peter Michael Marino and now playing at 59E59 Theaters as part of their annual East to Edinburgh series, breaks all tradition by pulling together a genuinely funny one-man improv show that surprises and delights. There is, technically, a script, but Marino metaphorically defenestrates the thing within a few quick moments of stepping to the center of the performance space. It should be a recipe for disaster, but, with a few final flourishes that neatly wrap the package in a bow at the end, instead delivers an experience that leaves everyone smiling and satisfied, chatting with their new performance buddies.

Marino takes the whole thing beyond the one-man show designation because his improvised story is drawn from the real-life experiences of his audience members, though they are scrambled together in a way that makes them unrecognizable and therefore collectively funnier than their individual parts. On the night of the first performance, the story resembled a Southern Gothic, complete with matricide, lightning strikes, and broken hearts. It was further supplemented with a little disco fever and some multi-accented multiple personalities. Mystery music cues set the tone for each segment of the performance and an impressed set designer – even a reluctant one — added more than a touch of merriment to the proceedings.
Marino, for all his talk of being an unlovable black sheep, is a very endearing presence. His self-deprecating humor and earnest delivery, though it took a minute to warm up to where he was going with it all, set the audience at ease in a way only a seasoned performer can. Despite a claim of social anxiety, he was not only relaxed with the crowd, but set them at ease enough to convince his volunteers to readily offer potentially painful moments from their lives for the sake of everyone’s continuing amusement of the rest. “I get a lot of murders, actually,” he confided after the performance. And yet it all came together as well as it should, with a lot of good-natured joking and the obvious desire to see where he was going to take it all next. Everyone stayed a little late to continue the conversation started in those first moments of the performance, shaking hands, and asking each other for details of their experiences.

At an hour long, SHOW UP is the kind of performance that feels like it could go on for significantly longer, but sadly must come to an end. A few moments of exposition between the end of the improvised play and the audience mingling brought the energy down, but it was the only less-than-stellar portion of the evening. It makes this viewer wish to know what kinds of experiences the crowd in Edinburgh will bequeath upon Marino for the benefit of his ongoing experiment in shared spectacle. It’s sure to be hilarious. Click Here

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