Josh Thomas – Let’s Tidy Up at the SOHO Playhouse

Josh Thomas in Let's Tidy Up at the SOHO Playhouse.
Josh Thomas in Let's Tidy Up at the SOHO Playhouse.

NEW YORK – Josh Thomas – Let’s Tidy Up at the SOHO Playhouse

If you ever wondered what it feels like to be the bearer of certain conditions such as ADD, ADHD, or Autism – and by this, I mean that you would have these all at once in a sort of cocktail – then pop on down to Soho Playhouse where Josh Thomas will welcome you Let’s Tidy Up which is his most recent ride that he is sharing with any and all comers.

I think I was the only one in the audience who did NOT know Thomas. He hails from Australia and is the creator and star of hit TV shows (Please Like Me, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay), both of which seem worth some serious attention.

Josh Thomas - Let's Tidy Up at the SOHO Playhouse. Courtesy

Josh Thomas – Let’s Tidy Up at the SOHO Playhouse. Courtesy

Thomas leaps onto the stage, chattering as only a Brit or an Aussie can do and be understood. The velocity of his speech is staggering, and it is so funny you might want him to slow down. I was so busy receiving his performance that I don’t think I laughed once, but the other people in the audience were laughing so hard I feared they would start hyperventilating.

The title of the show, “Let’s Tidy Up,” has little to do with anything that happens onstage, but it has a snappy sound to it. What Thomas may be tidying up is his life. Here, Thomas follows himself and puts the pieces of his life together into one giant Rubik’s Cube. If they don’t seem to fit, he will try something else or just move on.  Quickly.

His diagnosis of Autism was more welcome than ADHD, which is a bit passé these days. EVERYONE is a bit of ASHD. Autism is much more excessive and complicated. Autism gave John license to embrace the fact that, YES, life is more challenging for him than for the rest of us who are normal – or at least we know where our keys are. Even small challenges can prove difficult. For instance, small talk involves asking a question and then listening. Unless Thomas has prepared a variety of answers, he will be struck mute. Even an outright lie requires preparation.

Josh Thomas in a scene from Let's Tidy Up at the SOHO Playhouse. Photo by Daniel Boud

Josh Thomas in a scene from Let’s Tidy Up at the SOHO Playhouse. Photo by Daniel Boud

He takes us through his life, in which each episode—like the one with the gophers in the garden—could be a full-blown hour because there are few things Thomas likes better than details. He is like a lab technician pulling apart his life as if it were a specimen. Each vein or nerve is cause for a dive into the oddity or the magic of life, depending on which way the ball bounces.

You get the feeling that he might not care if we laughed or not. He IS standing – duly noted – which is a sign that he recognizes us as being in the theatre and being involved. When he is alone, he mostly lies down. What is the point of standing up if no one is looking at him? With each new chapter, he tells us, “This is the difficult part” or “This is not going to get better,” which is merely a ruse to pretend to warn us.

We don’t need warning. We are happy campers enjoying the jet-fueled carpet ride that is Josh Thomas talking about his favorite subject: Josh Thomas.

Written by Josh Thomas and Lally Katz.

At the SOHO Playhouse through June 29th. Tickets HERE

Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Elevator Repair Service Ulysses, N/A at Lincoln Center, Much Ado About Nothing at the Gene Frankel Theater. Ella the Ungovernable at the Theater for the New City, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Paper Mill Playhouse.

Josh Thomas – Let’s Tidy Up at the SOHO Playhouse


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