To be blunt, Dan Pavatich has written and performed in one of the most enjoyable acts I’ve seen in Fringe this year yet. Big Strong Boy is a recounting of Dan’s life, a retelling from his early childhood days to university days and all the parts of his life that have defined him as a person.
Pavatich himself stands as a friendly figure as the show starts, beaming warmly at the crowd as the lights brighten to reveal him. His performance is in no means just a stand-up comedy act, despite the moments of humour that perpetrate throughout. Instead Pavatich has weaved a story of his upbringing, his childhood and numerous moments that have impacted him as he grew up. Almost a story any individual could tell, but none as well as Pavatich.
His stories and recounts of growing up are on a relatable level, from his excited retellings of a first romance and attempted courtship, to the dismal and familiar feelings of a first breakup. His stories from a sex den in Asia however, may not be quite as familiar to everyone watching the show. They are highly amusing though.
Pavatich shares numerous moments from his family’s private life, clearly moments that had a large affect on him at the time. As he states at the closing of the performance however, despite individual life events and the people he met, they don’t define him. He chooses how he wants to define himself, not his childhood, not his parents and not his relationships.
Big Strong Boy is a wonderful one man performance that isn’t afraid to leave moments without laughter; some moments that leave the audience a little uncomfortable at times are there for a reason. It may not be the biggest show at Fringe this year, or the most dramatic, but from what I’ve seen, it is the most memorable.