It's arguably a more serious show than the title or whimsical graphics would suggest, but it is engaging, tells a compelling story, and reiterates some truths that we all need to be reminded of. Plus some sure-fire banjo jokes!
In "Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me but Banjos Saved My Life", Keith Alessi tells of his Italian upbringing (and the plentiful tomatoes on the dinner table in lieu of meat), his struggles with a father who had anger issues, his remarkable success in the business world including a media spotlight for his prowess at rescuing "broken companies" - and the out-of-the-blue diagnosis that left him fearful, confused and wondering what it all meant. How did banjos save his life? You'll find out. Along the way are some funny moments and some poignant stories, punctuated by some very fine banjo playing.
Alessi's style is steady, not showy. And despite the banjo and musical element, his direct, unadorned delivery, telling more than dramatizing, plus his focus on serious, grown-up themes, means the show will resonate more with grown-ups than kids. But by the end of his tale, one is reminded of what's truly important in life - and it isn't getting on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
And oh yes, the jokes. What's the difference between a banjo and a trampoline? Well... you'll have to see the show to find out.