super ed by Chris Craddock, with Kurt Spenrath. Presented by D.E.T. at the Poor Alex (296 Brunswick). Runs to September 22, Thursday-Sunday 9 pm. $10, $15 (includes Men Make Plans). 416-923-1644. Rating: NN Rating: NN
i've seen variations on a character like Super Ed a dozen times before at Fringe festivals.He's a youngish man (Kurt Spenrath) who feels unwanted and unloved and looks to superheroes for some meaning in his life. He even believes that he is a superhero, since like most superheroes he lost his dad long ago. Holy cliché, Batman!
Writer Chris Craddock never finds the heart of the material. What did the family -- the mom seems absent -- think when the father died? Craddock chooses instead to lecture us about the lack of heroes in contemporary life. There's some thoughts about how TV has shaped our idea of heroism, and some entertaining rants about what it means to be a man, but that's about as intellectual or socially relevant as it gets.
Craddock's script constantly nudges and winks at us, but nothing in it is very amusing. Tired orphan anecdotes, a bizarre religious theme -- OK, Craddock's from Edmonton -- and long digressive episodes feel grafted on. This is a play composed of anecdotes.
What the play does offer is a solo vehicle for the energetic Spenrath, a natural and likeable performer who deserves better material. Jason Golinsky's design, especially his lighting scheme, occasionally adds ambience, but more often draws our attention to the black holes in the script.