The Times West Virginian

May 8, 2014

‘Truthpaste’ stories are ‘kind of local’

Comedy show scheduled Saturday at Fairmont Field Club

By Chelsi Baker
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — More than 20 years of Tad Janes’ life come from West Virginia.

So when he was creating his one-man, autobiographical comedy show, he thought it would be perfect to bring it to his hometown of Fairmont.

The show is called “Truthpaste: A Blotto Biography.”

“I thought about bringing a couple different types of shows to Fairmont, but this one, because it’s autobiographical and I grew up in Fairmont, a lot of the stories are kind of local,” he said.

Janes wanted to do a one-man show because he enjoys being able to play several different characters in one night. He decided on an autobiographical show that features nine monologues and four songs based on actual things that happened in his life or to his friends.

“A couple of them aren’t my actual stories, but they’re stories from really good friends of mine and I was there or I witnessed it, or that kind of thing,” said Janes.

Some characters represent real people, while some are a collection of different people or are based off the person he remembers himself being at that specific time in his life, he said.

The monologues are set in Fairmont, West Virginia University, Chicago and Frederick, Maryland, his current home of 22 years and also where he runs the Maryland Ensemble Theatre Company.

“There’s a story that happened when I lived in Chicago, so I tell it through the eyes of a guy who is from Chicago,” Janes said. “He’s got kind of that dialect, and it helps to keep it interesting that we have a lot of different characters there.”

Janes’ wife, Gené Fouché, directed the play and helped bring direct insight to the characters’ development because she has heard the stories firsthand.

While there isn’t a clear category for the show to fall into, Janes describes it as a mix between cabaret and standup comedy.

He wanted to have it in a setting at which the audience can drink wine or beer and sit at tables instead of just seats.

The Fairmont Field Club, which is next door to his childhood home, seemed like the perfect place.

Janes warned guests that the show contains cursing and strong language, which limits it to adults only.

“It’s not a children’s show,” he said.

Janes premiered the performance in Frederick, Maryland, where it got a strong, positive response. Now, tickets for the Fairmont show are selling fast, he said.

“Truthpaste: A Blotto Biography” starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Fairmont Field Club. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for dinner and the show are $40 in advance and come with priority seating at a table, but guests can purchase tickets at the door for the show only for $15.

Email Chelsi Baker at cbaker@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @cbakerTWV.