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Best Onstage Impression San Francisco 2012 - Don Reed

Stand-up comedian and solo performer Don Reed has a kinetic energy that seems to transcend human limitations. So in his most recent solo show, The Kipling Hotel at The Marsh, it was only too fitting that some of his caricatures, of people he knew in his early 20s when he worked as a waiter in a Los Angeles retirement home, took on animal traits. One, a crack addict, became something haunting, funny, and squirrel-like with just a whiff of the drug. To get into this character, Reed hides his face for a moment, and then, when he looks back at the audience, his entire jaw has ballooned. Twitching and compulsively sniffing, he is, with those bulbous cheeks, a human transformed — and a dire warning.

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Norman Bearrentine
Norman Bearrentine

Don is great! Laughter, sadness, wisdom—he invokes "the full catastrophe," as Zorba would say.

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