(10.19) Rhys Darby, star of “Our Flag Means Death,” will be bringing his stand-up to the Strand Thursday night. Darby first stole our hearts as Murray the hopelessly optimistic band manager in “Flight of the Concords.” His cheery consensus-building continued as the leader of the werewolf gang in “What We Do in the Shadows.” The good news: Not only is he a wonderful comedic actor, but he has legitimate stand-up chops. In fact, he paid his dues for years, honing his act in New Zealand, ending up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and then it was on to “Flight” fame.
Darby cruised through town last year, performing for an audience that was already wildly in love with him (half the audience was wearing a certain (accidentally) OFMD-themed shirt sold at Target. Stede and Blackbeard’s sweet pirate love story (likely fictional) has made the show a favorite with the LGBTQ+ community. Many of the pirate characters have paired off — an arrangement known in the 17th-century as matelotage. That the character of Jim was being played by non-binary actor Vico Ortiz (who got right on board with the shirt thing!) sealed the deal.
So you should be watching all those shows, but not this Thursday night. Darby’s set last year was hilarious, goofy and smart. My face hurt from laughing. He’s really good at this.
Darby is seen here in the blue frock coat (the costuming on this show is reason enough to watch). On the right is the charming Nathan Foad . . . the entire cast of this show is huggable. Based on a true story, OFMD takes place in 1717 when wealthy landowner Stede Bonnet has a midlife crisis, decides to blow up his cushy life, leave his family, and become a “gentleman” pirate. It’s a perfect vehicle for Darby.
Look for Darby in “Next Goal Wins” coming out in November, written and directed by Taika Waititi (Blackbeard).