TJ Dawe is arguably the Fringe’s greatest storyteller, and Burn Job is another impressive achievement in Dawe’s ongoing search for himself. How’s this for a hook: “The first time I ever did acid, I set a massive field ablaze.” But as we’re waiting for the rest of that adventure, the performer takes us into wormholes about the various cast-off obsessions of his youth: comic books, Top 40 radio, A Clockwork Orange.
Dawe’s stories are exquisitely crafted, whether they’re primarily funny (his teenage friend’s badass pranks) or informative (I learned a lot about Anthony Burgess), and his perspectives on both youthful folly and adult self-deception are smart, nuanced, and generous. If you’ve ever had to revise your idea of who you are (and who hasn’t?), you’ll relate.