Fringe Review: Gavin Crawford: "Friend" "Like" #Me14 July 2015 / by Sara Cristiano (author)
Gavin Crawford, best known for his appearances on The Gavin Crawford Show and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, took the Annex stage on Tuesday July 6 to give a performance of his one man show Gavin Crawford: "Friend" "Like" #Me, written by himself and screenwriter Kyle Tingley. Before attending his show at the Fringe I had never seen any of Crawford's TV appearances nor had I ever seen him perform on stage. Now? I'm going to take any chance I can get to see him perform again and encourage others to do the same.
It's almost become a cliche to comment on the state of our technologically-driven (some might say technologically-obsessed) society, to lament the loss of real-life, face-to-face interaction and to worry about how social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are causing us to spend hours doing absolutely nothing. Initially, it seemed like Crawford was going to do the same thing; the show begins with him logging off of Facebook because he can't stand looking at another self-important post or fake sincere inspirational quote.
Near the end of the show, however, Crawford begins to realize that completely avoiding technology is neither realistic nor productive. After telling a story about how his 13-year-old self had to go to ridiculous lengths to look at a picture of a naked man in one of his friend's porn magazines, he suggests that technology - particularly social media - is wholly positive in that it allows a multitude of voices to be heard and gives people access to information like never before.
Stories like the one mentioned above, such as an amazing yet semi-unbelievable tale about meeting a French-Canadian cougar on a cruise ship, initially seemed unnecessary or unrelated to the topic at hand, but by the time Crawford finished telling each of them, I was able to understand how each story fit into the larger message he was trying to convey. He is undoubtedly an incredibly skilled storyteller; the audience literally gasped when Crawford broke his aforementioned cellphone. Even when I was doubting the validity of some of his stories, the sincerity and enthusiasm with which he told them made me wish they were true.
Crawford's comedic talents were in full force. He tells jokes that you think will end one way but end up going in completely unexpected directions (he tells a story about getting lost in the woods and using his phone not to find directions, but to go on Tinder and find eligible guys who were also lost in the woods). Not to mention the fact that he was able to transition from impersonating a Downton Abbey-esque butler to a stereotypical Canadian bro at the drop of a hat.
Like I said before, if you ever get the chance to see Crawford perform in person, take it - if this show was any indication, not everyone can blend insightful observation and comedy as skillfully as he can.