A good date-night show at the Capital Fringe Festival conveys the aura of romance but avoids high-pressure scenarios — like marriage proposals — that would make a fledgling couple flinch. A great example is local raconteur Regie Cabico’s “Godiva Dates and One Night Stands.” Unless your date confesses that he, too, has attempted to hook up with a roller-skating Cirque du Soleil performer, you’ll find Cabico’s monologues way too absurdist to be too close for comfort.
That tale of a disastrous one-night stand in Montreal drew the biggest laughs Thursday at Cabico’s sold-out show. The comic/storyteller/slam poet opened with a few audience involvement questions like, “Who here is in love?” (lots of cheering) and “Who here just broke up with someone?” (one whooping woman who quickly started blushing). Most of Cabico’s best lines are unpublishable, but Cabico compared his Quebec encounter to having sex with a shopping cart at Whole Foods.
As an auteur, Cabica is pretty out there. He’s a veteran of HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam,” the New York Neo-Futurists and NPR’s “Snap Judgment,” and as such, is one of the more seasoned performers at Fringe. This collection of 11 stories is more NC-17 than usual. In keeping with the weird-Canadian-sex theme, Cabico recalls that trip to Calgary when what he thought was an innocent Thanksgiving dinner invitation turned out into a hippie couple’s plea to please deflower their 18-year-old son. “We watch all your videos on YouTube,” they said, and then handed him a basket of condoms and maple-flavored lubricant.
He declines the invitation to bed an Aboriginal Albertan spirit god and moves on to a sketch about getting picked up by guys with Asian fetishes. (Cabico is Filipino.) For the most part, he segues well between the comedic and sad-sack vignettes. The diversions into slam poetry seem a little sanctimonious, like a reminder that some red wines taste like Robitussin.
“The world is sturdy, and poetry can hold us up,” Cabico says in conclusion, toasting a glass. That’s nice, but what you’ll remember is that line about sex with a shopping cart.
Ritzel is a freelance writer.
Godiva Dates and One Night Stands
continues Saturday and Sunday at the Capital Fringe Festival.