"A Sad Carousel" at the MN Fringe: Twilight of the Douscheburgs

Clothes horse insult comic Herschel Douscheburg, currently starring in Pommelhorse's A Sad Carousel in the Minnesota Fringe, bears a passing resemblance to local actor Sam Landman; his nephew Saul could be mistaken for Matthew Glover. But the Douscheburgs transcend mere theatrics and spread their unclean tentacles all over the Rarig Center's Arena stage.

Douscheburg, whose comedic targets include the Special Olympics, gay people, and just about every living thing, has fallen upon hard times. His downfall probably began in the 1970s, when Richard Nixon declared him responsible for U.S. troops' failure in the Tet Offensive (Douscheburg had recently been in Nam for a USO tour, and left them utterly demoralized).

By the time of Sad Carousel, we find him on the outs with his agent, the target of assassins, and falling for a dancer he picked up at the airport lounge. The plot is, to use a favorite bit of Douscheburg terminology, a turd. But the show itself is outrageous and compulsively funny. A fine bonus on opening night was watching Herschel prowl the Rarig Center before showtime, an unlit cigarette in hand, doling out lascivious looks like so many business cards.

The show plays tonight at 5:30. At the end of the first performance, Herschel declared this "a tough slot to fuck." Beautiful thoughts flow from his mouth like water from a cool country stream. He may also have a hit on his hands.

A Sad Carousel also plays Aug. 10 at 8:30 p.m., Aug. 14 at 1:00 p.m., and Aug. 15 at 5:30 p.m.

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