Review by Adriana Santos
Written and performed by Mark DeMayo; Directed by Peter Michael Marino
Part of the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival
Off Off Broadway, Solo Show
Runs through 8.29.15
VENUE #8: Under St. Marks, 94 St. Marks Place
BOTTOM LINE: A hilarious one-man show starring Mark DeMayo, an ex-NYC detective-turned-comedian whose candid storytelling is engaging from start to finish.
Mark DeMayo looks like a cop. Leaning back on his heels, chin turned up slightly, hands on his waist with his holster and badge in full view, DeMayo evokes the nerves that anyone who’s dealt with an officer is familiar with as he stands downstage at Under St. Marks.
"In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups…” he begins. Pause. “Come on! I know you guys know this!” The ex-NYC detective-turned comedian smiles and mimics the iconic two tone “dun dun” from the police drama, Law & Order. “I love that show,” DeMayo admits, chuckling as he reaches for the coffee cup resting on the paper-riddled desk at center stage and takes a sip. The ice is broken. The Broccoli Murder, Decaprio Dance, and Other Stories from My 20 Years as a NYC Cop was like hanging out with an old friend—an old friend who happens to have twenty years’ worth of stories from inside the New York City Police Department.
In between interludes that infuse the minimal set, made up of a desk and chair, with recognizable tunes from various crime dramas such as COPS and Hawaii Five-0, DeMayo recounts stories that range from his own criminal offenses as an adolescent in Harlem, to training at the police academy, rookie mistakes, pranks inside the precinct, the world’s dumbest criminals and post-retirement odd jobs that include security for Leonardo DiCaprio. This refreshingly honest show from a comedian excited to offer up a perspective he knows in particular is worth catching at this year’s FringeNYC. Mark DeMayo’s performance feels barely performative as he candidly shares himself and his unique experiences in an engrossing hour and half that flies by.
(The Broccoli Murder, Decaprio Dance and Other Stories From My 20 Years as a NYC Cop plays at VENUE #8: Under St Marks, 194 St. Marks Place, through August 29, 2015. Performances are Mon 8/17 at 5:15; Thu 8/20 at 7; Sun 8/23 at 8:45; Tue 8/25 at 4:45; and Sat 8/29 at 5. There is no late seating at FringeNYC. Tickets are $18 and are available at fringenyc.org.)