Thursday, August 23, 2012

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Reviews - The Hoff

There will be other reviews later today, but The Hoff gets his own special place.

Hi guys! Here are my reviews for the day. One disclaimer- the review of the Hoff is more than just a review - it is more like a recap because his show was an experience. I wanted to convey as much of the content as possible. As I said in one of my earlier Edinburgh blog entries, I am going to do my best to meet him. Tonight’s the night. I’ll tweet the photos. @AdamandtheKants.

Review- David Hasselhoff - Pleasance Grand

We’re sitting in the second row and the anticipation is killing us.

Four minutes late.
Five minutes late.
Six minutes late.
Seven minutes late.

Smoke begins to billow on the stage. Then comes the clapping and chanting ‘Hoff! Hoff! Hoff!’

Eight minutes late
Nine minutes late.

Uh oh. I just realise that because he is late, I am going to have to leave early to get to the next show I have to review. Bugger.

Cue video montage of the Hoff’s music and television accomplishments. All I keep thinking through the whole VT is how my Nana is going to kick my ass for leaving early.

The VT ends and the beginning of ‘Feelin’ Good’ kicks in. We hear the Hoff singing. But where is he? I’ll tell you where he is! He’s BEHIND us and headed our way. He’s got the spotlight on him and is rocking an 80s-does-40s pinstriped suit and two-toned shoes. I’m inexplicably the only one holding out my hand for him to touch. His nail accidentally scratches the full length of my palm. My Nan can die now. No wait, that’s not what I meant.

The Hoff’s show ‘An Evening with David Hasselhoff’ was off to a great start. The audience were losing their minds. It’s so cheesy you need crackers to watch it- and we are all eating it up. Every delicious, dripping, Velveeta-y bite.

The show centres on his life from Knight Rider to the present day. It rotates a song, a video montage, and his own spoken words- musings, ramblings, jokes. All self-depreciating. All charming. He gives us his Hoff-isms (Some Like it Hoff, F***Hoff, Hoff to see the Wizard) and has the crowd in stitches.

The songs vary wildly in tone- he goes from Jekyll and Hyde to his own ‘Jump in My Car’. The upbeat numbers are made even more fun with two great little backing dancers and his constant interaction with the audience (best interaction is when he brings up a girl to dance to ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ by Tom Jones). And then he takes it down, singing songs with earnestness. Gesticulating like I do when in my bedroom, slightly drunk on wine, holding a hair brush. By far the best song is his version of a Teddy Pendergrass’ ‘Turn off the Lights’ because the back screen features candlelight, and a portable back-lit screen in which the dancers lithely move about (exactly like that episode of Seinfeld where George watches the nurse give that woman a sponge bath). He grabs a scrub brush and jumps in.

The montage bits are great- not just for nostalgia’s sake, and because they are cleverly edited, but because they provide this platform for him to talk about Knight Rider, or his Austrian music career, Baywatch, or singing while the Berlin Wall was coming down. And we learn so much about all these experiences.

Only when it strikes me that the Hoff is bizarrely a part of some of the most significant events and cultural experiences does it hit me- I have to leave now for the next review.

And this is when the Baywatch stuff is in full swing. I lean over to my husband (who is up for a few days) and ask if he would mind staying and finishing the review. The dancers are clad in the iconic Baywatch swimsuits and begin slow running. He decides to take a bullet for me and stay. I know, he’s a saint, right?

Here’s his take on the last 15 minutes:

There was lots of slow-mo running with the Baywatch dancers, complete with floats. There was massive audience participation. Beach balls were bouncing around the crowd. Along with a load of other people in the first few rows I got to limbo under a bar the dancers were holding onstage. AND I returned a high five from the Hoff as I came up! Priceless. Bear in mind I don't do high fives, what with me being a proper Englishman and all that but, when in Rome... I must say it was the first time I've ever felt correctly dressed in a Hawaiian shirt whilst in Edinburgh.

The finale was the song 'Looking for freedom' - he spoke about the Berlin wall coming down, and how it was an amazing party. He brought the fake polystyrene Berlin wall (8ft wide 8 ft high), which was painted like a German Flag with HOFF THE WALL scrawled on it in white along with a peace symbol. He and his dancers burst through it, then the dancers did a quick clean up by booting the blocks out the way.

Of course there was an encore- he comes out to bagpipe music wearing a kilt of questionable quality. He sang Proclaimers song ‘500 Miles’. His legs were that wiry muscly old kind but hey he's 60 and at least he wore the kilt, although it looked more like a catholic schoolgirl skirt than a kilt to be honest. But that's how the Hoff rolls.

What an amazing experience. If you have any chance of seeing this show, SEE IT.


Amber said...

So jealous.

FSP said...

This Hoff hoopla still bewilders me.

libby said...

I'm not a fan of the Hoff, but I love cheese, so this sounds right up my alley.

Hoff has all the swagger & chest hair of Tom Jones, without the singing talent.

Lauren said...

This sounds like either the worst show ever or something I need to experience before I die... not sure which!

a non a miss said...

this is the type of situation you would need to be hammered at to be able to handle The Hoff. Perhaps a flask of wine to go with all the cheese.

dia papaya said...

I can't believe the Hoff is still prancing around! This actually sounds like a fun time. I think I'll be needing that flask just in case...

Maja With a J said...

Great review! I would totally go see the Hoff if given the chance.

But mostly I want to thank you for this line:

"Gesticulating like I do when in my bedroom, slightly drunk on wine, holding a hair brush"

I'm just relieved I'm not the only onw who does this.

yodelay said...

Wow. That is all.

__-__=__ said...

Fun review! Thanks!!

Lisat said...

so cheesy you needed crackers with it.. my fav.. this lady she can write!

Rose said...

Jump in My Car is a classic. The video is hilarious.

smash said...

Great review! So much fun! If he is ever close I will totally go!

Unknown said...

Great review .shsme I wasn't there to see him in his full glory

jk said...

Funny, I still think of "You Can Leave Your Hat On" as a Randy Newman song...

Agent**It said...

made famous by Joe Cocker in my book!

ureallyannoyme said...

The Hoff was a guest at Liza's wedding to David Guest, and he was only 1 of 2 people to cross the street and greet the people watching the arrivals. I was impressed.

(The other guest who came over was Sally Kirkland, and she almost got hit by a car when she ran into the street without looking.)

astrogirl said...

Jump in my Car was a original song written and sang by an obscure Australian band called the Ted Mulry Gang

Bowser said...

Years ago I was at Disneyland and saw The Hoff and his then wife, the tall blonde. I have never seen a more beautiful man in my life. It was like an olympic god was walking through the crowd and the sun shined only on him. Crazy, and I wasn't even. Most celebs are kinda drab in person, but not him. Go figure.


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