Review: THE ONE-EYED STRANGER at The Joint Theater

This original two act comedy stars veteran performers whose work has been featured on Saturday Night Live, Off-Broadway, and on Dick Clark's United Stations Radio Network

By: Mar. 21, 2023
Review: THE ONE-EYED STRANGER at The Joint Theater

Review: THE ONE-EYED STRANGER at The Joint Theater

Nestled in the Argenta District is, quite possibly, the best little comedy club ever. Exaggeration? I don't think so. The Joint Comedy Theater, 301 Main St #102, in North Little Rock, is now my newest favorite place to go. Yes, I've only gone once (and shame on all my friends who didn't tell me about this gem), and I will return. For my inaugural visit Saturday, March 18, I saw the hilarious ONE-EYED STRANGER with The Main Thing Comedy Trio, starring Steve Farrell, Vicki Farrell, and Brett Ihler. I did not stop laughing from the time they hit the stage until time to take their bows, and I am 'serious as a little baby owl!' Don't miss this show!

Review: THE ONE-EYED STRANGER at The Joint Theater If you haven't been introduced to the Fertle family of Dumpster, Arkansas, I'll give you a brief rundown of what's going on in their world. The show splits their time between the café and the Fertle home. After their amusing opening number sung by Country Wayne Conaway (Steve on guitar), the cook (Vicki on drums) and the blind guy (Brett on bass) and a bit of repartee, they switch over to the Fertle household where Mom (Vicki) and Dad (Steve) welcome the one-eyed stranger (Brett) into their home. Because the stranger acts very familiar with the family, they play along while they try to figure out who he is. Throughout the play, other people, including son Lou (Steve) and wife Bridgette (Vicki), and other son Earl (Brett) and daughter Justicena (also Brett), along with various Dumpsterites, visit to help identify the stranger. As this is going on, you find out that Justicena and Bridgette have a big hair war going on, Earl is babysitting a strange looking infant, and the origin of the fruitcake on the fridge that they fed the stranger is an ongoing discussion, since it has made the stranger sick. Is this mystery ever solved? You have four more chances to find out.

Review: THE ONE-EYED STRANGER at The Joint Theater

This comedy trio had me in tears! Each played at least five different characters or more and owned every single one of them! They changed their mannerisms, speech patterns, looks, facial expressions....everything, and kept the beat going. It was awesome watching all the different transformations that took mere seconds for them to switch from one character to another. There was no down time, no obvious slipups...nothing. The talent amongst the three is astounding, and their comedic timing is unmatched. They are pure pros! I love them with all my heart. Oh, and their music skills are equally as amazing. As everyone knows (wink wink), songs are the best way to glue a show together, and this troupe blessed us with five super funny songs spaced throughout the play.

This family run venue welcomes you from the very moment you enter the door. They are a super friendly bunch, and our server Julia quickly took our drink and food orders. We had the chicken salad, which came with a small croissant, crackers and cheese, and the turkey also came with cracker and cheese. Both were very tasty. We also had some yummy fruity drinks that complimented the food and may have assisted in my giggling moments. They also have a bevy of wine, beer and coffee that I did not consume, but may try next time.

Review: THE ONE-EYED STRANGER at The Joint Theater

Before the show, I had the honor to speak with Mr. Steve Farrell. He had some exciting news to share.

BWW: This is my first time to visit you guys.

Farrell: I'm delighted you're here. We're about to hit our 11th year anniversary in mid-May, so I'm very happy you're here tonight.

BWW: I'm happy I'm here. Tell me about you guys.

Farrell: Well, other than the material you have in your program, Vicki and I started working together back in 1972, and we have been married 50 years this coming October.

BWW: So, you married when you were five?

Farrell: We were not even born yet...we were a couple of fetuses. But we've always done this. I thought I was gonna write plays and direct legitimate theater and started that way, and then got into comedy in Minneapolis at Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop and never changed directions. So, I kept writing, and then we opened the Comedy Workshop, that was the club in Houston where Rodney Dangerfield and Robin Williams were regulars, and we trained Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison and Jeanine Garofalo, and a lot of the top comics from that period of the Comedy Workshop. Then we started doing what you're seeing tonight, a trio format, which will mean more to you later after you've seen how it works. We developed this in 1985. We did it off Broadway (at the Westbank Theater - now called The Laurie Beechman Theatre) in New York when I was writing for Saturday Night Live, and then we moved to Houston, and started doing a radio show (Radio Music Theatre) syndicated for Dick Clark productions. We built a studio and theater in Houston (also called Radio Music Theatre), where we stayed until 2011, and then we wanted to get out of that big city, and kind of semi retire. We shopped around for places that didn't have a hard winter like New York or hurricanes like Houston, and we fell in love with this area, and moved my parents, our kids, their spouses, and two other Houston couples, and we all just came here, took a year off, and found a space, built this theater, and I've been doing it now for almost 11 years.

BWW: Wow! Review: THE ONE-EYED STRANGER at The Joint Theater

Farrell: We just perform Friday and Saturday night, so we have lots of time off. We take weeks off so we can travel. We have touring comics in here when we're not on this stage.

Not only does The Joint Theater host other comedians, they showcase all sorts of entertainment, including an acoustic guitar series, a jazz series, and an LGBT film series. Also, if you are brave enough, on Tuesdays there is Open Mic Stand Up Comedy, and on Wednesdays, it's Improv Comedy. For tickets and more information about this wonderful venue, visit their website at

Next in the Fertle Family saga, GRANDPA HASN'T MOVED IN DAYS begins June 2, BIRTHDAY FROM HELL will start at the end of July, and A FERTLE HOLIDAY begins mid-November. Broadway World can't wait to see what shenanigans happen next in Dumpster, Arkansas.

Review: THE ONE-EYED STRANGER at The Joint Theater


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Prior to becoming a writer for Broadway World, Theresa Bertram has had an extensive career in the media/entertainment business. Born in Las Vegas, Nevada to a professional poker-playing mother, Theres... (read more about this author)


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