Thursday night was the first of two solo shows for Brent Morin, most often recognized as Justin from NBC’s Undateable. The set was a kind of “Unplugged” of sorts, beginning figuratively and ending literally with Brent performing the last ten minutes of his set without a mic.
The show took place in La Balustrade at Monument National, a tiny room with thin walls, lighting too bright, an awkward seating, and people coming and going throughout the show- basically every “Don’t” you could ask for when it comes to a stand up performance space. But Brent made the most of it, opening with about 10 minutes addressing all the weirdness of the location and transitioning into material with a much softer volume and pace than the energetic comic usually takes.
Once he’d gotten the audience on board, he ramped up through an hour long set that felt strongly woven together, thanks to callbacks and themes popping up throughout as he ranged from bits about Uber and drinking to breakups and musical theater. But the room fought back, with his wireless mic repeatedly cutting out as he neared the end. Luckily by this time, Brent unquestionably had the upper hand, and his frustration played well with the crowd as he first attempted to swap in a wired mic with a droopy stand and finally shoved all the AV equipment offstage and declared “Fine, I’m just doing the rest of the set like a one man show! We can do that here!” to a big round of applause. While audiences always love catching a unique moment, hopefully Brent’s second show Saturday at Montreal Improv will be a little more standard issue.