We've been giving out a lot of five star ratings lately. It's not really our fault – the Fringe is always a bit top-heavy, with most of the best shows being released towards the beginning. Everyone wants to put their best foot forward, after all, but it does leave us wondering if we're just being too damn generous.
In light of that, I wanted to give Unfunny and Boring four and a half stars. I really, really wanted to. But I just couldn't justify it.
To help illustrate why, it's worth knowing that I was sitting on an old cinema-style row of seats – I think you get the idea, but it's like bench seating with armrests. And because of that, I could feel my seat rocking back and forth all the way through the show, as my adjacent patrons were constantly racked with laughter. Sometimes I couldn't even hear it – they were just silently trembling in their seats, voiceless as they were cracking up. Often, I was doing the same.
There were hearty guffaws, rolling chuckles, stifled snorts, delirious giggling, and calf-slapping chokes. Occasionally, I would laugh myself to the point of exhaustion, and then these guys would hit me with another somehow-hilarious gag and it would send me back over the top again.
This isn't sketch, so much as comedy wrought from pure silliness and furnished with delightful touches of absurdity. I don't want to spoil anything, partly because the magic rubs off in the retelling, but expect sex-ed misinformation, a Hogwarts-esque romp, game-show shenanigans, and the most horrifying trust exercise you will ever experience.
Gravity Boots seems to run on a logic of, "If you can think it, it can happen." It shouldn't work, but it does, thanks to the pitch-perfect timing and delivery that Michael Cleggett and James Lloyd-Smith bring to their comedy. (And, no doubt, some of the credit is also due to director Steven Sheehan and his masterful comedic sensibilities.) The only crime here is that this show hasn't already been picked up and adapted for TV, because if it did it would absolutely kill. Netflix, get on this.