Please don’t beat me up for loving this show! In the hilarious and sometimes heart-crushing one-man play, Please Don’t Beat Me Up: Stories and Artifacts from Adolescence, comedian Adam Ruben tells the story of growing up in suburban Delaware. Reading from his green diary that was given to him as a Chanukah gift, Ruben relives the thoughts of his childhood, including the crush on a girl named Liz that he has had since the 3rd grade. “Think of the dorkiest kid in school. That child beat me up!” This pretty much sums up the life of Ruben growing up.
On the stage sits a bed surrounded by mementos, like his teddy bear, named ‘Beary Big’ and a band jacket from when he used to play the French horn. A video screen shows self-made home movies, including one where he is dressed up as a tiger. Watching him sing and dance in a tiger costume will leave you in stitches! He also shares stories from 5th Grade field day, a letter from summer camp to his bicycle, and even a reading of his paper, ‘The Esoteric Secrets of Adam Ruben.’ Ruben not only delivers his true stories with comedic flair, he is also able to sensitively deliver lines as when he said, “Most people aspire to be great. I aspire to be most people.”
This play is so polished, funny, and truthful that I could easily see Adam Ruben performing this off-Broadway or live on HBO! Or maybe there is a spot for him on Saturday Night Live!? Lorne Michaels, are you listening?
Running time: 60 minutes
Please Don’t Beat Me Up: Stories and Artifacts from Adolescence information and tickets.