Saturday, January 27, 2007

Looking For Something Light and Cheery?

Then perhaps you should consider taking yourself to the Marsh Theatre for Dan Hoyle's one-man show about... wait for it... oil and politics in Nigeria.

Oh, yes, this show is a veritable walk in the park. Okay, all joking aside, my friend Emily and I saw Tings Dey Happen last night, and it is very good. Dan Hoyle is clearly a brilliant actor. In fact, the former Fulbright Scholar is probably just plain brilliant. I will say, however, that as far as political one-person plays go, I enjoyed Heather Raffo's Nine Parts of Desire much more. I saw that show last year at Berkeley Rep.

But back to the play at hand. Holye plays so many characters in Tings Dey Happen, I didn't even bother counting them. And the show is held together by the comic relief of a "Stage Manager." Hoyle does rely just the teeniest bit too heavily on accents and voices, though, and as a result, his work occasionally crosses the line between acting and imitation. Case in point: a malaria-inspired dream sequence featuring Graham Greene and Richard Pryor. However, I neither deny the veracity of any of said accents nor the fact that they are necessary in a play based on real people who live on the other side of the globe.

My very favorite part of the show is the self-reflective moment when Hoyle, as the Stage Manager, acknowledges that most western plays and movies about Africa center around Caucasian visitors.

By the end of Ting's two hours, I was worn out. I didn't even have the energy to head to the Knock Out to see Tippy Canoe and the Paddlemen afterward. I had probably missed Tippy, anyway, but nonetheless. All I could do was hop in a cab and return home for a rendezvous with my couch. At risk of sounding like an ignorant American, I will admit that this play did not inspire the joy in me that most theatre does, but I am certainly glad I saw it. Thanks for the ticket, Emily.

And that brings us to the present. Today is a positively grand day: it is Schleevin's 37th birthday. Granted he is not here to celebrate (he lives in New York and Los Angeles), but in his honor I am going to indulge in exercise at the Fancy Gym, take myself shopping for linens and then go to work. That Schleevin certainly knows how to throw a birthday party, doesn't he?

1 comment:

JoeBlogs said...

Sounds like a thought provoking play.