Patrick O’Duffy writes…

Whoo! Yeah! Get up! Sit down! High-five your neighbour! Make sound effects! DeAnne Smith pushes the audience participation button to kick off her show with high energy, and though she warns that she’s bound to crash at some point, she never does.

This is DeAnne Smith’s fourth MICF show, and the tiny Canadian who looks kinda like a member of an under-age One Direction tribute band has collected a devoted following in Melbourne – and she’s earned it with great comedy. ‘Let’s Do This’ is a return to the more thematic comedy of 2011’s ‘About Freakin’ Time’; it’s an all-new show about confidence and enthusiasm, and how to fake those feelings if you can’t manage them on your own.

With fewer ukulele numbers or overt jokes than past shows, DeAnne talks about topics such as ‘nailed-it’ people, the egotism of insecurity, why she can’t have a catchphrase, Instragram sandwiches and selfie abuse, lesbian locksmithing (this might be a metaphor), unsettling dolphin facts and why penguins suck. Some parts of the show are scripted (complete with multimedia), others are more spontaneous. For example, the show I saw included yodel-surfing; later shows probably will not. There’s also a moderate amount of audience interaction, including a MYSTERY MUSICAL INTERLUDE (no spoilers) that’ll either thrill or horrify you (or both).

This is a fresh, lively and conceptually rich show about confidence and/or the lack thereof. It plays games with the audience and uses their participation to engage with the themes of confidence and enthusiasm and how we buy into those things (or don’t, for that one guy who folded his arms and wouldn’t get into it). It’s often difficult to pin down exactly how the show works; DeAnne relies more on tone and personality than delivering jokes or telling anecdotes. But it does work; it’s freakin’ hilarious.

Go see it. Go cheer her. Let’s do this.

DeAnne Smith in Let’s Do This is on at the Melbourne Town Hall, 9:45pm Tues – Sat, 8:45pm Sun, until April 21st.

You can visit Patrick O’Duffy’s website or follow him on twitter: @patrickoduffy.

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