Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dan Hoyle's The Real Americans

In this one-man show, Dan Hoyle describes his idealistic cross-country road trip to encounter the "other" America. His plan is to eat pie & to get to know people outside the "liberal bubble" of San Francisco. Instead of narrating his experience in the 1st person, he performs a series of cartoony impersonations of the people he meets. It's a dismaying pageant of bigots, closet cases, racial stereotypes & people who believe Obama is a Muslim. Mr. Hoyle also includes a sitcom-like quartet of his San Francisco pals, who provide context & commentary.

The trim Mr. Hoyle, dressed in t-shirt, jeans & running shoes, looks like a teenager. A handkerchief & a handful of baseball caps are the only other costume. He switches between characters efficiently & finishes the intermissionless, 90-minute show without breaking a sweat. The show has been extended through April 14th. The house staff had to bring out folding chairs to accommodate everyone at the sold-out performance on Friday night, delaying the start. It's general seating, so it pays to show up early. Afterward, I expressed my disappointment at the shallowness of the portrayals, but my theater companion pointed out that there's probably not a lot of thinking going on in these characters' heads.

§ Dan Hoyle's The Real Americans
Written and Performed by Dan Hoyle
Developed with & directed by Charlie Varon

The Marsh, San Francisco, Studio Upstairs
9 Mar 2012, 8p

§ Photo credit: Brendan Furey

2 comments:

sfmike said...

"Instead of narrating his experience in the 1st person, he performs a series of cartoony impersonations of the people he meets." So who was the worst at caricaturing other cultures, Anna Deveare Smith or Dan Hoyle? Sounds pretty ghastly.

Axel Feldheim said...

I've only ever seen parts of Anna Deveare Smith's show on TV,& Dan Hoyle's show is similar, though he's probably funnier & cuter. Both could be accused of caricaturing "the other." I thought Mr. Hoyle's show worked best when he was satirizing his own friends, depicted eating brunches of locally-sourced ingredients & being smugly condescending about Mr. Hoyle's road trip.