Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A rave review from the Seattle Weekly for THE UGLY AMERICAN.

The recollection is leavened only by the humor and humanity of Daisey's delivery; it's to his credit that he can at once find the horror and the hidden attraction of such an uncomfortable situation. Working in the confessional mode, he treats his most intimate experiences with a candor that brings to mind the late, great Spalding Gray, an artist who regularly turned himself inside out for the sake of a story. And, like Gray, Daisey works with nothing but a table and glass of water as props, relying solely on the honesty of his subject matter to engage the audience's fascination. He's a natural born storyteller, with an exquisite sense of rhythm and an instinct for the ways in which his delivery should rise and dip according to the psychological peaks and valleys of his narrative.

He's found the perfect collaborator in director Jean-Michele Gregory. Just as filmmaker Jonathan Demme did for the movie adaptation of Gray's Swimming to Cambodia, Gregory uses only the subtlest variations in lighting to punctuate Daisey's story. As the performer digs into the darker regions of his tale, she allows the stage to grow imperceptibly dark, only to brighten it suddenly as Daisey segues into a new chapter of his telling. While the final light falls, Daisey intones, "You must remember this, you must remember this," as a kind of incantation for teller and audience alike to hold onto the past. It's unlikely either will forget this memory.

I'm delighted with the review--of all the ones in Seattle so far, this one seems to actually understand the format and what we're trying to do, and I love the fact that Jean-Michele got recognized, because so often she gets short shrift when she's really at the heart of these pieces. Read the full review here.
4:21 AM