The Banana Monologues

Wed., Jan. 16, 9 p.m.; $10; Theatre 99;

Recently voted Best Local Actor and Best Local Comic by City Paper readers, festival favorite John Brennan presents his recent stage hit on the kick-off night of this year’s fest. A raucous one-man play written by local sketch/improv actor and musician Jason Cooper (a.k.a. Gus Weiderman), The Banana Monologues tells the tale of a lengthy romance and all the down ‘n’ dirty fun, sex, heartbreak, and frustration that went with it.

“It’s theatrical stand-up,” Brennan says. “I have all the stories, but I’m comfortable enough where I relate with the audience. I’ve worked very hard to get the audience more involved. The whole story is about one ex-girlfriend. Often, I’ll ask members of the audience to write down something they might say about an ex, and I’ll read off a couple to start the show. It gets the audience thinking about their exes, which helps them relate to the stories. The guys might be thinking, ‘Yeah, I’m over her, I’m over her … but I don’t fuck her.”

Directed by Mary Cimino, the show provides a hilarious perspective on relationships from “the banana’s point of view,” presented by a handful of good guys and villains — colorful characters played entirely by Brennan. “I’m telling a true story,” he says. “It’s theater, but it’s the real story about a real ex. People can relate with these characters … and it gets very intense.” T.