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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 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 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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