Watching Mike Albo perform is like catching up on six months of magazine reading: You suddenly feel as though you’re up-to-date on fashion and fitness trends, J.Lo’s latest, and the cultural attitudes warping our suggestible mind-sets. Bouncing between the petty fixations of our would-be Sex and the City lives and the global calamities engulfing us, (“It’s like the earth has been set to vibrate”),
Albo stylishly epitomizes the absurdity of our urban lives—a thirtysomething gay man with a killer yoga body and a clownish (though at times expansively revealing) neuroticism.
Incorporating monologues from his latest book, The Underminer, (co-written with New York Times TV critic Virginia Heffernan), My Price Point features visits from a character who, in five minutes of small talk, can make you aware of the futility of your every ambition. After announcing (hush, hush) his incredibly lucrative book deal, he can’t help adding how lucky he is because these days “you really only have this small window of time to make money or else you will be poor forever.”
More a keyed-up ironist than a deft mimic, Albo relies on his intimacy with the Pilates-designer dog-Condé Nast set for comic mileage. His insider vantage produces some knowing barbs, though the satire never ventures into anything truly dangerous. Still, he’s a reliable seismograph of our national self-indulgence—nowhere more than when impersonating a Maui sunbather who claims emotional devastation as a result of the recent tsunami disaster, “having been in a tropical location at the time.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 1, 2005