Tom DeTrinis takes to the Assembly’s Powder Room as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for his one man stand-up I Hate New York. The Long Island native is also starring in high camp take on the Lizzie Borden case, Lottie Plachett Took a Hatchet at the Assembly. With direction from Drew Droege, Tom delves into his long litany of grievances sharing comic anecdotes and serving biting characterisation.
In I Hate New York, Tom furiously lists his grievances about all from the titular city to his ‘Jesus addicted family’ and cheese. Supported with sharp musings and a burning furious desire to hate, Tom powers through his catalogue of the gear-grinding, loathsome parts of society.
Tom opens with a run-down of a conversation at a New York party where topics centre on vapid Ryan Murphy shows to the unique appeal of pop divas. Opinions change like the wind as pressure to conform to opinions of the NY elite take hold. On a stage adorned by small wooden crates, Tom captures the exhaustion of fitting in to New York – but don’t presume Los Angeles is any better. The performer launches into a note perfect California drawl as he takes aim at West Coast insincerity delving into a satirical tirade about its failure to provide ‘real Chinese food’ or authentic rainfall like New York.
Tom tackles other topics than the titular city, delving into his devout Christian family something at odds with his youth as an ultra-horny teen. Standout comic moments see Tom explore his childhood passion for writing lesbian fiction centred around his female classmates and teachers, whilst Tom’s first sexual encounter leads to comic musings about his ability to identify anyone’s penis just by looking at them (the secret’s in the neck if you were wondering). Where did Tom learn about the darker recesses of human sexuality? Well, he’d seen Rent in his youth.
I Hate New York taps into some darker, more tragic textures, Tom sharing his experiences in religious camps to suppress his judgemental tendencies or tragedies that had occurred within his family that had been hushed-up and barely spoken about for fear of being unchristian. Tom’s hates his upbringing, but still packs a sentimentality and love towards his family. Tom’s celebratory musings about his own queerness provide an enjoyable openness throughout I Hate New York including a detailed rundown of the cream sweater vest he longed for from JC Penny in the Christmases of his childhood. Sharp characterisation as Tom discusses three possibilities of what his uncle (who died at the age of three) could have been like if he were a gay man, is also a highlight.
Tom is an impressive comic storyteller, engaging as he puts a strong comic and refreshingly queer spin on his many grievances with impressive characterisation and a well-pitched sentimentality.