it's alive, IT'S ALIVE!
Review by Willard Manus

The outrageous performance artist, John Fleck, is back with another stage piece of his, “it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!” The show is raising hell at the Odyssey Theatre, directed by Fleck’s longtime collaborator, David Schweizer. Fleck is joined onstage by two supporting actors, Kyle G. Fuller and Tomoko Karina, and a musical duo, John Snow (bass) and Scott Roberts (keyboard). Together these partners in cabaret crime poke fun at a slew of targets: The Virus, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, Trump, Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and much, much more.

Fleck, decked out in a silly costume and wielding a crutch, capers around in a plastic Covid headpiece, kicking up a storm as he raps, jokes, sings and dances with manic energy and skill. His co-conspirators Fuller and Karina prance alongside him at times, joining in his comic harangues and ditties. It makes for a bizarre kind of show, one that’s more literary stream of consciousness than typical musical fare.

Here is a more precise description of the show (the words are Schweizer’s): “IT’S ALIVE! makes live theater LIVE ANEW, skewering the harrowing tension and fear around the pandemic–-both its politics and its circumstances–-and creating a provocative and unique theatrical musical vaudeville that aims to HEAL and clear the slate for the new and challenging times ahead of us.”

Fleck and Shweizer developed IT’S ALIVE! during the recent two -year theatre hiatus, communicating via Zoom. Last September they workshopped the show for four performances at the Odyssey, then further honed it over the next few months.

IT’S ALIVE’s! humor is at its most savage when Fleck trades his Covid helmet for the horned headdress of the man who led the Washington insurrection, bellowing fascistic slogans. Fleck lampoons him with fiendish glee, showing him for the crackpot he is. Same goes for such other Fleck targets as Tucker Carlson, Q-Anon and Lindsey Graham. All of them are fodder for his comic fusillades.

(The Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Call 310-477-2055 ext. 2 or visit