I wanted to like Tony Imperatrice’s one-man Rogue show delving into his life as a struggling organist, but I just couldn’t. “I’m a Musician; Do You Want Fries with That?” never rises above the level of “fine.”
First of all, the show fails to deliver much of what’s promised in the program. I don’t know if classical musicians are snobs. I don’t know if guys in rock bands get laid. I mean – I do, but it wasn’t covered in the show. And I am not sure “the girl” mentioned in the synopsis was covered much, either. In fact, Imperatrice doesn’t really go into much detail about trying to make money as a musician. The show mostly covers his early life and personal journey through various types of music, which was interesting but not what I expected.
False advertising aside, “I’m a Musician” was a pretty decent show. I enjoyed the organ music. You don’t often get to experience a live organ performance outside of a church or baseball game. I even enjoyed most of Imperatrice’s origin story. I’m not fully certain the two blended together well, but it was fine.
I would have enjoyed the show more if it focused in on one thing – either his origin story or his struggle to remain an artist in Fresno. Imperatrice wasn’t really able to fit both into an hour. His story ended pretty abruptly. He also lost his place briefly and had to be brought back on track by his wife. The fliers mention the proceeds for the show will go towards getting Imperatrice a new kidney, and I would have liked to have heard that story. I wanted to hear about all of the things on the flier, really.
The other audience members definitely seemed into it, so maybe I missed something. I was almost certainly the youngest person in the room, so it could also be a generational thing. I feel like I got most of the 80s references, though.
If you really love organ music, you may want to check out “I’m a Musician,” otherwise it’s pretty middle-of-the-road.