Dallas — Hands down, Lesley Tsina’s Lord of the Files is the funniest show of the second Dallas Solo Fest. (Granted, the one show I didn’t see was Jill Vice’s Tipped & Tipsy, which I heard was hysterical.)
Although the connection to William Golding’s famous novel that inspired this title is very loose, Tsina’s retelling of her time working in a cubicle farm at a company that created ringtones—this is pre-iPhone—is a tale of survival.
There’s some great fodder in The Office-like politics (she even references characters in that sitcom), but mostly this is a story of a performer who takes a J-O-B out of necessity and ends up with some great comedy material. In the end, she kind of likes the job—she definitely likes a coworker—and when the company goes out of business, Lord of the Files becomes an unexpected commentary on the true tragedy of the Great Recession and the reality of fierce competition in the tech world.
The one-liners usually hit, and her monotone delivery somehow makes them even funnier. She references musical theater (Brigadoon, Big River), office buzzwords like “granularity” and “productize,” and in one of the best funny-because-it’s-true moments, a gay men’s Go-Go’s tribute band called The Gay-Gay’s.
And then there’s the string of men she dates, including an art school student who she had to drop because “sometimes you just want to be with someone who knows things.” Her computer log (projected on the back wall) about stalking and obsessing over one nerdy-cute co-worker is “oh no she dihnt” funny.
On Thursday night she tripped up several times and committed the cardinal sin of calling attention to the blunders. But it still didn’t lessen the laughter, which flies fast and furious in Files.
» Lesley Tsina's Lord of the Files has one more performance:
- Saturday, June 13 @ 10:30 p.m.
» Read our Q&A with Lesley Tsina here
And you can follow our coverage of the 2015 Dallas Solo Fest in our special section, here.