I left Killer Quack feeling a bit reluctant. Had it only been one hour? Do I really have to leave this wake of passion and energy left behind from James Judd’s hilariously flamboyant yet undeniably entrancing performance? Must I face the world knowing that I would never be the equal of Judd, romantically obsessing over a murdering, macho con man, or possess the ability to tell a story about his obsession with perfectly balanced ratios of humor, uncertainty, and drama?
Stop the presses!! Master storyteller James Judd is back for his tenth anniversary at Capital Fringe with his latest show Killer Quack which features a story that you just can’t make up.
(Best of the Capital Fringe)
James Judd’s Killer Quack is one of those rare moments in the theatre that moves the audience along the spectrum of emotion. For fifty-five minutes, Judd walks an emotional tightrope, with moments when the audience believes he’ll fall into melancholy, or humor, but he never settles in an emotion. The beauty of the work that Judd has composed, or rather lived through and repurposed into this evening of storytelling, is that he spends time in the grey areas of emotions, where humor and drama coincide, and where self-awareness and uncertainty overlap.
James Judd is a monologist (which as he puts it, is a fancy word for “storyteller”) who lives in Manhattan. Years ago he and I shared an office working for a legal publisher in Berkeley. I was mightily entertained by my office mate, but eventually James moved on to bigger audiences worldwide.
No one can accuse monologist James Judd of false advertising. His return to the Capital Fringe Festival with “Funny Stories 2” is exactly what it purports to be. Judd uses a handful of props, a little lighting and a few sound effects to aid in his hour-long performance, which consists of three amusing autobiographical tales.
They say: “Acclaimed monologuist James Judd, former member of The Groundlings, Hollywood Improv and regular NPR contributor, shares his true encounters with a murderous fake doctor, a renegade camel, a shark and a canoe trip that runs afoul of naked hippies.”