It is almost unfair to call Dirck Toll a “comedian” since his humor is not the usual run of the mill sort. It is humor deeply rooted in his personality and unusual mind. He doesn’t venture out in public much, he’s more of a writer and thinker, but when he does it is worth noting it on your calendar, thusly: The show takes place at 2 PM on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at historic Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, NY.
As with Toll’s previous shows, Levelling Charges is suggested for mature audiences, but immature ticket-holders will not be turned away. Advance tickets are $ 10 general, $ 8 students/seniors/Caffe members. For tickets and more information, go to caffelena.org or call the Caffe at 518-583-0022.
Combining his onstage drive to perform hilariously unique stories with his offstage zeal to preserve the natural environment, humorist Dirck Toll will attempt to do both in an experiment he calls Levelling Charges. A fast-paced, one-hour show, Levelling Charges will be performed at Caffe Lena as a special matinee using only natural lighting on the stage, only Toll’s natural voice for amplification, and a set made of salvaged and reused materials.
“Power corrupts, so we’ll see if using less power will corrupt me any less.” – Dirck Toll
“As a profession, entertainers have been just as guilty of over-consumption as anyone else,” Toll says, “so this approach is my humble way of pointing everyone toward the next sensible phase of modern entertainment.” Some might say Toll is taking this to an extreme: Besides reducing the electric load for the show, his distinctive stage wardrobe will be from secondhand stores and his water will be in a forty-year-old bottle he found in the woods. “The water itself will be more recent, I think,” Toll speculates.
Despite these consumption-minimizing measures, however, Toll promises that the content of the show itself will be uncompromised. Bypassing the transience of pop culture, politics, everyday observations, and other common comedy fodder, Toll instead specializes in mind-jolting humor that springs from unexpected twists of ideas and behavior. Levelling Charges is a singular combination of five uproariously bizarre adventure stories that feature a shifty craftsman, an unhelpful assistant, a mystified upholsterer, and an aggressive bystander. Toll single-handedly acts them all out in a hyperkinetic blend of theater, literature, performance art, and comedy.
In addition to his previous sold-out appearances at Caffe Lena, Toll has performed at the Kleinert-James Arts Center in Woodstock, Dixon Place in New York City, and various other arts venues throughout New York and New England. Reviewing his work, San Francisco’s Factsheet Five has noted Toll’s “strong performance, combining humor and sophistication,” while Hudson Valley Magazine has commented, “Toll proves that the artful use of language can be music to the ears.”
“My hope,” says Toll, “is that even though the show’s environmental impact is reduced, Levelling Charges will still reach the usual high standard of dazzling nonsense that the public has come to expect from me.” Will this bold gambit end in triumph . . . or failure? Or both? There’s only one sure way to find out: Join the experiment, find some friends with a wide taste in humor and go see this unusual comedian.