Standup Routine + Solo Show + NPR’s Science Fridays + Primal Scream Therapy = Drew’s Adventures. A most engaging Drew Michael is telling his story, and it’s a doozy.
It kicks off with a curtain speech that sets the tone (“no vaping, no thinking you could do this better, no checking your watch”). Then Drew launches into his adventures as a child with hearing loss. (The show’s title is taken from a book he wrote around age nine.)
Upon being told as a preschooler that he would need to wear hearing aids, Drew adamantly refused. After an implied shrug from his mother, he went through childhood unable to follow conversations or hear school lessons.
Drew decries the poor marketing of what he calls “a $7,000 accessory not covered by insurance.” After all, they don’t call glasses “vision aids.” Why couldn’t they come up with a catchy name for something that might have allowed him to understand what was going on around him?
His three decades of anger at his mother offers an overriding lesson for parents: Don’t let your kids decide on their own medical treatments.
His hearing declined from mild to moderate loss, heading toward profound, before Drew decided he needed a change. He no longer wanted to be thought rude by people who were unaware that he couldn’t hear what they were saying. After years alone in a basement, finally, in his 20s, he acquired hearing aids.
The show’s audio support is its strongest feature. Hearing how things sound to someone with hearing loss is devastating. Prerecorded audio is also used in creative ways, as an inner monologue and to communicate his anticipation of how the audience is reacting to him.
A sense of (mostly) contained rage permeates Drew’s Adventures. In the context of waiting for a text from a hoped-for romantic partner, Drew notes, “There’s no silence that’s affirming.” This is the show’s message. From isolation, loneliness and a sense of abandonment to a “war against God,” this monologist/comedian shares who he is. He wields his self-awareness like a sword—a very funny, very cutting sword.
Drew’s Adventures runs on Tuesday evenings at 8:00pm through April 25 at the Broadwater Second Stage, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd., just west of Vine St. Tickets are $20 and are available here. Drew Michael can also be seen in Red Blue Green on HBO Max.