STRASSMAN SHOW GOES HI-TECH BUT CHUCK WIELDS THE POWER
March 6 David Strassman returns with a new show, iTedE: About Chucking Time, filled with an evening of hilarious comedy and side-splitting antics from Ted E. Bare, Chuck Wood and their crazy friends. Where: Rooty Hill RSL Cost: $49 Details: rootyhillrsl.com.au
SINCE he began his career as a street performer in New York City, David Strassman has liked to push the boundaries of ventriloquism.
In 1986, he introduced robotics, with some help from a NASA friend, which meant he could leave the stage but still control his puppets remotely.
His latest show, iTedE, takes things a step further.
The first part of the show features regulars Chuck Wood, Ted E Bare, Kevin the Alien, Granpa Fred and Sid the Beaver in traditional hand-up-the-backside ventriloquist mode.
The finale, however, is more complex, with all five on stage and Strassman operating them live via a wireless handheld device as he conducts a six-way discussion. Or argument, if the evil Chuck has his way.
We caught up with Chuck to find out more about the show and life with Strassman.
Hi Chuck, thanks for your time. Can you tell us how life has changed since your early days busking in New York? It’s nice to perform indoors! You’ve been performing with David Strassman for 40-odd years. Do you sometimes feel a bit like an old married couple?
I don’t think being forced into a suitcase after every show is like being married. Oh wait. Maybe it is.
What happened to your hair? And is that some kind of tribal marking on your head?
Yes, it’s a totem marking from my Huon pine clan in Tasmania. Any more info and I’ll have to kill you.
How often do you dream of turning the tables and sticking your hand up David? Colonoscopy, anyone? What’s the story with the technology in iTedE?
Strasso operates all five of us puppets, live, with a little thingy in his hand. It’s really spooky but nice to have a bit of autonomous freedom.
We’ve seen technology dis- rupt countless industries. Do you think this latest gizmo might make David redundant?
His technology will soon have me doing shows in Sydney while he’s sipping drinks in Fiji. It’s just not fair.
Do you ever try to annoy David by doing Ted E Bare’s voice instead of your own?
All the time. I always say in Ted’s voice: I’m just a stupid bear!
How about sneaking in some of your own material? I wrote the bloody show! You’ve spent a lot of time in Australia. What’s your favourite part about the place?
Boarding my plane for Los Angeles.
We hear you’re into the puppet version of Tinder. Any luck there?
Yeah, it’s called “Pinder”. Tinder for puppets. The only problem is I can’t move my arms to swipe right or left.
David Strassman can always rely on some explosive input from Chuck Wood.