Savvy anti-drug advertising has become increasingly common since the infamous “This is your brain on drugs” campaign. But rare is a show like Confessions of a Dope Dealer, an absorbing and nuanced meditation on getting hooked on drugs during the pursual of self-actualization.Using only a handful of sound effects, props, and facial contortions—go see this show for the “whippet face” alone, Sheldon Norberg tells a mostly autobiographical story of a young man who takes his father’s advice to “sell a product that sells itself.” Unexpectedly, his small business venture gradually becomes a never-ending search for enlightenment with his fruitless quest for inner-peace-via-LSD leaving him cut off from human contact, the material world and any sense of spirituality. Honesty and pragmatism define his refreshingly undidactic discussions, and Norberg’s comedic timing is impeccable. (His physical humor and vocal machinations land him somewhere between Kramer and Rod Serling.) This is one smart, buoyant public service announcement that, in a sane world, would infiltrate our public schools as easily as pot does.
Confessions of a Dope Dealer
By Sheldon Norberg
Ace of Clubs
Sat, Aug 13 at 9 p.m.; Wed, Aug 17 at 5 p.m.; Sat, Aug 20 at 2:15 p.m.; Sun, Aug 21 at 9:15 p.m.; Mon, Aug 22 at 4 p.m.