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Don't Make Me Look Too Psychotic 

Bruce Pachtman's one-man show

Wednesday, Mar 14 2001
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Bruce Pachtman returns his loony and hopefully not too autobiographical one-man show to Bannam Place Theater, where it had a long run last year. Standing in as himself -- a sensitive, Jewish, 40s-ish guy who used to be a comedian -- Pachtman tells us about his disastrous affair with an alcoholic flirt named Gloria. Gloria is a steamy, intelligent, middle-aged tease who dumps her psychoses on Bruce. Even when he sees he's being used, however, Bruce won't let her go. Pachtman tells it all in a smooth and practiced patter cut with red-lit flashbacks about his abusive mom. The piece occasionally feels like an act of revenge against women, but the flashbacks are eerily potent. I think his mistake is that he still half-considers himself a comedian. Despite all the whacked stuff that happens with Gloria, Psychotic is less hilarious than Pachtman wants it to be; it's the dark, impossible griefs touched in his dead-sober scenes that carry unconscious weight.

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