By Peter Douglas
David Strassman is set to unpack some much-loved characters and a brand new show for local audiences.
The hugely popular ventriloquist and comedian will soon jet out from his US home for a series of Victorian shows, including a stop-in at the Memo in Healesville on Wednesday 28 February.
He will deliver his new show, ‘iTedE’, with a little help from his friends Ted E. Bear, Chuck Wood, Kevin the Alien, Grandpa Fred and Sid Beaverman.
Strassman told the ‘Mail’ his new show, complete with a stunning production and special effects, will focus on modern society’s fixation with technology.
“Everyone is either watching television or is on an iPhone these days. It doesn’t matter whether we are children or adults, we’ve all got our heads in the screens,” he said.
“It’s not a political show, but I’m holding up a mirror to society while providing a few laughs.”
Strassman, who performed in Healesville back in 2013, said he loves nothing more than to reacquaint himself with Australian culture.
“I particularly love regional Victoria and I’ve toured extensively throughout before. It’s something about the culture, the pioneering spirit; I can’t quite explain,” he said.
“When someone says ‘mate’ to you, you know you’re their mate. You care for each other. There is a barbecue in every park and a sausage sizzle at every Bunnings store.
“I was at Port Arthur around when the massacre took place and you Aussies took away all the guns. In the US, we’ve already had 10 school shootings this year. You look out for each other.”
Strassman is not only popular in Australia and New Zealand; he has performed in London’s West End, New York’s Off Broadway and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Yet, he equally enjoys drawing laughs from a theatre in outback Australia, without all the tech and wizardry.
At the heart of his shows are the unique voices of so many characters, which have developed identifiable personalities.
“I have introduced new puppets over the years; they tend to take a while to flesh out before they take on a character of their own,” he said.
“But they each have their own back story, much like characters in a film. So they each have their own hopes, fears, neuroses and foibles.”
Strassman said he couldn’t wait to meet and entertain Healesville audiences.
“I started out in comedy clubs in New York where a laugh is expected every 10 seconds or so and that’s what the show brings,” he said.
“I have an amazing production team, which allows me to perform the show anywhere, from major city venues to regional Victoria.”
More details at www.davidstrassman.com or www.ach.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/Venues/The_Memo_Healesville.