***1/2 (out of 5)
Plenty of shows at the Fringe have accidental false starts to them, since the headliners must serve as their own opening warm-up acts. But false starts are built into this show from the get-go. Pilkes not only portrays a variety of characters who sit on the verge of life-changing decisions or emotional breakthroughs/breakdowns, but all of those characters exist to interrupt Pilkes from moving on from the verge of starting the “show.” She needs to take a dance class, plan her wedding to her short king, or bring out a clairvoyant. Her show does come with an audience participation warning. The night I attended, the crowd interaction worked almost too well. Perhaps because that night’s attendance was small but scattered? This does feel like the type of show that feeds off the crowd’s energy, so make sure you go with friends. The more, the merrier, as they say. Vulture named Pilkes one of its “Comedians You Should Know” this year. As Pilkes also proves, asking audience members to fill out notes to describe what or why they’re on the verge, we’ve all got something awaiting us.
Hannah Pilkes: A Woman on the Verge runs through Aug. 29, 2022, at Underbelly Bristo Square (Dexter).