Above all, Scott Barry is a performer. In a narrow, dark room with nothing but a chair for a prop, Barry controls your attention with his sharp dialogue and athletic movements. His new show "Rise," developed with Joshua Townshend-Zellner, is honest, heartfelt and above all funny.
The premise is simple: in his forties, Barry meets a girl who could become the love of his life, except for his fear of erectile disfunction, or in his case malfunction. We hear a lot about ED, and it all makes sense, especially he and his girl friend's crazed attempts to remedy the situation. We get touches of Barry's grandfather, the real man in the family, and we also meet his Penis, who needs a capital P because he talks (with a southern accent). We learn the dangers of internet experts, new-age gurus and oyster-brussels sprout smoothies.
We might quibble with the ending, which feels a little like a Hallmark card, but all in all we can see Barry taking this show to far larger venues. An ex-college football star, he already knows how to play to an audience.
RATINGS: ☼ ☼ ☼
Scott Barry: "Rise"
The Exit Theater
156 Eddy Street, San Francisco
Through Mar 23