Egads! Frank Woodley is anxiety embodied. In his latest show Extra Ordinary, Woodley celebrates thirty years (!) of Fringe appearances with an absurd hour of no-limits standup. With Woodley, sometimes it’s hard to tell where the show ends and the improvisation begins. I’d list some of his chosen topics, but I don’t know if they’ll last til the end of his run!
For this incredibly talented improviser and physical comic, the hardest part of the evening was shoehorning his performance into his intended structure for the show. The bits that were planned were good, but some of the strongest moments were completely improvised, to the point where a delightful ten minute section on earwigs came out of nowhere and seemed to surprise Woodley himself.
Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that the laughter audibly dampened when Frank returned to regular programming. It wasn’t that his pre-written stuff was bad – it was that he was so solid during his improvised rants that the rest paled in comparison.
There were a couple of off-moments, but mostly it was a delicious off-the-rails extravaganza.