BWW Reviews: JUST A WELDER Offers Witty, Insightful Humor
A new one-man show, JUST A WELDER, written and performed by Richard Klovdahl, opens tonight at the Valley Players Theater in Waitsfield, VT.
When Klovdahl and I spoke at last night's dress rehearsal, he shared some information about the piece's history. He first performed a version of JUST A WELDER a number of years ago at Randolph's Chandler Music Hall as a benefit for his daughter's student exchange program. The favorable response encouraged him to continue to tweak the show, and this week's presentation in Waitsfield is the culmination of three years of development (mostly accomplished in his freezing cold garage, he added).
The show opens in a setting that does indeed include a garage workbench, and as Klovdahl begins to fix his wife's table lamp, he warns that he will most likely offend each audience member at some point. In an evening structured around recollections from his 30 years as a welder, Klovdahl delivers hilarious portrayals of the unusual characters and situations he encountered along the way, sprinkled with "career advice" for potential welders. (Do you know the names of the different kinds of welding torches and what they do? What about who you have to impress to get a welding job?)
Woven throughout are Klovdahl humorous musings on more serious, thought-provoking themes. Both white collar and blue collar workers are fair game for jokes, as are all varieties of political and religious stances. (My personal favorite: "If Jesus were a US congressman, would he be left-wing or right-wing?")
Klovdahl engages his audience effortlessly with his warm, easy humor. The pace neither drags nor feels rushed, and the show is just the right length (about 75 minutes with an intermission). Theater-goers from all walks of life will enjoy JUST A WELDER.
JUST A WELDER runs January 9 - 11 at the Valley Players Theater in Waitsfield, VT. All performances are 7:30pm. For additional information, visit valleyplayers.com.
Note: JUST A WELDER contains occasional adult language that some parents may not find appropriate for young children.
Photo courtesy of the Valley Players.