Fringe review: Laughing Sober

By John Lyle Belden and Wendy Carson

Rick Garrett tells us the story of the traumas of his child- and adulthood that drove him to the numbing effects of alcohol for solace in his stand-up/monologue, “Laughing Sober,” at ComedySportz.

Garrett relates his restrictive religious upbringing – “We were Amish with lightbulbs” – and how for him love was predicated on rules he couldn’t master and expectations that didn’t fulfill him.

While his tales are honest and raw, the delicate humor surrounding them prevents the subject matter from getting too somber. Garrett is an excellent storyteller as well as comic, so even when he’s not zinging the punchlines – which he often does – he still holds our attention and earns our sympathy.

This show reminds us that we are all damaged people in some way, and that the only true healing powers in the world are laughter and love, both of which you will feel before the final applause break.

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