***1/2, ****, and ****1/2 (out of 5) (sliding scale applies!)
For a moment, it feels quite possible that Jake Cornell and Marcia Belsky’s introduction to their show might be the entire production.
But no. This is but the start of a satirical romp roasting performative woke theatre kids, leading into high camp, over-the-top mockery of community theatre tropes, as Jake and Marcia attempt to empower women somehow through the stories of one man and one woman in a small town destined to be together. Even if she’s never going to be his type. But their stories must be told. Mustn’t they? They stop throughout to give notes to one another, and/or take notes.
I’ve given this show a sliding scale review because it feels slightly misplaced in the late afternoon. “Man and Woman” would be an even bigger hit as a late-night show with late-night crowds, or in a slot where all of the other performers at the Fringe could come see them, as the ridiculousness of the theater plays better and with bigger laughs to those in the back of the room who can identify with it most.
Jake Cornell and Marcia Belsky: Man and Woman runs through Aug. 28, 2022, at Assembly George Square Studios (Studio Four).