Fiddlin' with the Truth
Review by Sue Gallant
In last month's issue of The Buzz, humourist Nils Ling was quoted as saying, "I wanted it to be fun." He was talking about his up-coming, Tuesday night shows, at the Carmody Comedy Barn for the 2003 summer season. Judging by the gales of completely, and apparently uncontrollable mirth emanating from at least one female audience member witnessed there recently, Ling is achieving his goal. In fact, on the night The Buzz was there to review the show, more than one person was mopping tears of laughter in response to the spoken word from up on stage. However this particular female was laughing so loud and hard, that she was in danger of stealing the spotlight. Every tale Ling told seemed to hold personal meaning, and she would nod or shake her head vigorously in response to things he said. Try as one might, it was impossible to ignore her.
For Ling fans weaned on his superbly entertaining radio monologues, we are used to having no distractions: it's just us and him. Any deviation from this selfish and perfect arrangement can, at least initially, be somewhat irritating. But it is, of course, great to see someone having a good time, and as the saying goes-laughter is always the best medicine. It's also astonishingly infectious.
Allison Ling, shares the spotlight with Dad at the Carmody Comedy Barn
In his opening introduction, Ling explained that the evening's entertainment would draw material from his internationally acclaimed show The Truth About Daughters and his new stage play The Truth About Love and/or Marriage. Ling also announced he would be sharing the stage with his beautiful and talented 18 year-old daughter Allison on fiddle, and on keyboard-a young Cape Breton pianist Mike Ross.
For the most part, Ling's work onstage has been focused on one-man shows. This 2003 threesome works well. A perfect balance of monologue and music, with even a spot of step-dancing from the man himself.
Ling covers a fair bit of ground throughout the evening. Grandparents, snoring, marital cuddling, exactly what Mrs Ling really means when she says "fine!," death, his high school dance, his daughter's school nativity play; her wedding. There was something everyone could relate to at sometime in their lives, and that is the Ling magic. Ling knows how to tell a personal story: and apparently his long-suffering wife and children don't mind him doing it.