Sunday, August 29, 2010

Faggot by Lynwoodt Bernard

Faggot is not a high budget production.There are no elaborate costumes. There are no props, no cast of thousands. There is no expensive state of the art multimedia or elaborate sound and lighting.  There isn't even a curtain. In fact, there is not much of a set- just a black platform and a black set of stairs to nowhere. Faggot is just one man- writer and actor Lynwoodt Bernard. Of course some of this can be explained by the fact that the  Dept. of Film and Theatre Studies Balcony Theater isn't much of a theater at all, just a larger than normal bare platform behind the Balcony of the Fine Arts Building in what would otherwise be just a  rather large classroom, but this show doesn't need elaborate costumes or a fancy set. Stripped to the bare minimum Faggot leaves you with the raw emotion of one mans journey to accepting his sexuality.

I said before that one man shows that one-person show tend to be very hit or miss no matter how well written the piece and no matter how talented the actor. In this case this show is definitely a hit. It didn't exactly amaze me, but that doesn't mean it wasn't an excellent piece and well worth seeing. While the subject matter was pretty controversial I'm not exactly its target audience. It was nice to get an inside look on someone else's journey through life. The emotional depth of this play was probably the strongest part of the piece. Importantly mostly because of the terrible acoustics in the Balcony Theater some of the more poignant and moving parts were difficult to hear.

For the most part Faggot was well put together show that kept the audience capitvated and mesmerized. Bernard lept around the stage, keeping the piece as active as it was entertaining. While there were no real fight scenes (the only "fight" in the play is described more than mimed), Bernard's use of physicality added an important dimension. While most of the piece was from the point of view of one character, Micheal aka Mikey, Bernard used his voice and body to leap in and out of other characters in Micheal's life effortlessly. 

After the one hour performance Bernard and the director, UGA professor George Contini, held a talk back about the the show and the process behind it. Among other things Bernard explained that the title was meant to be provocative to make people think about how he felt when he heard it. While the show is not autobiographical he did explain that it was inspired by his experiences and the experiences of his friends.He also talked about what it was like to come back to a piece he had done 10 years ago and how it had spread without much effort on his part.

There is one more performance tomorrow (Sunday) at 2:30 pm. Admission is $5 and proceeds go to the Graduate Acting Ensemble. The show runs aproxamately one hour and there will be a talk back after the  performance.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Exciting news for the one person who reads this blog!

I've graduated, and theoretically have more free time on my hands so I am focusing on returning to this blog.
I just came back from  the CD release party for Modern Skirts so look for a review of that show (including Gift Horse) tomorrow. Also tomorrow night I plan on seeing Lynwoodt Bernard perform Faggot tomorrow night in the Balcony Theater in the Fine Arts building at 7pm. I'm a little apprehensive about this as one man show can be rather hit or miss even with an excellent performer like Bernard. One of the biggest problems is that even with good writing and a good performer it is very hard to hold an audience all by yourself for an hour (or more). But I've both met Bernard (a second year MFA performance candidate at UGA ) and seen him in other shows and am excited to see this one.

Monday, April 26, 2010

11-30-07 Modern Skirts w/ Parachute Musical and John Ralston @ the 40 Watt Club, Athens GA

It's been a while folks, and most of you have probably forgotten about this little blog. But I haven't. Last night the Modern Skirts back from their tour of the U.K.But instead of talking about them, who get plenty of coverage I feel I ought to talk about the two opening acts.
The opening act was Parachute Musical, and from what I heard they were pretty listenable and I would have liked to heard more. Unfortunately I was a little late getting there and only heard the last few songs. The songs had a nice upbeat tempo and a catchy rock sound.
John Ralston on the other hand was not nearly so impressive. He was accompanied by a drummer, bassist, and a violin. While the violin was very nice, and the group, especially John was very talented I was not as impressed as I might have been. Mostly they just weren't as tight or as focused as I would have liked. Through out the act he kept joking about drinking too much the night before and considering his fan base and the reception he got from the crowd I think this may have something to do with it. He was very personable and funny in and odd sort of way. At one point he even acknowledged his own shortcomings by saying "This hasn't been a show so much as an exersize in what I can't drink." Later he added " I don't just drink you know. I like .. (pause) ... and Heroes, I'm on the 5th disk of the first season. I do other things." Not to say that I didn't enjoy his set at all, in fact I found my self dancing along to some of the more upbeat numbers.