Friday, June 20, 2014

"Dan Hoyle: Each and Every Thing" ☼ ☼ ☼

We recommend you go see any Dan Hoyle show. Hoyle has a unique and fascinating stage presence, and his shows are always filled with memorable set pieces. Go see his newest show "Each and Every Thing." But don't necessarily go right away.

"Each and Every Thing" is a collection of situations involving a cast of many, all played by Hoyle. There are two principal characters: Dan and his friend Pratim. Dan is the seeker and Pratim is the wise friend. Hoyle gives us brilliant moments, as when Dan is in a coffee house in Calcutta and manages to pull off a scene with five men speaking five distinct Indian accents, one after the other. We also loved his two Chicago dope dealers, his fabulous newspaper song (written by Mars Today) and his send-up of his father, which couldn't have been easy since Dad was in the audience on Opening Night.

But we also think the show needs a little breathing room. The theme of the danger of mass communication leading us away from personal interaction is interesting, but Dan himself is doing exactly what he says he fears. He wants to be a traveler, not a tourist, and yet he walks into peoples' lives, extracts their stories and puts them on stage, in much the same way as the camera-toting tourists he abhors. So we have what one expects with a new show from a terrific performer: the pieces don't really fit together yet because the transitions are nebulous.

With 'T'ings Dey Happen' we had Nigeria as an exotic backdrop; with "The Real Americans" America was the subtext. But with "Each and Every Thing" the subject is Dan Hoyle himself. This is his third show so we have seen these characters before, particularly always-vapid women. Them, we know. We want to know a little more about Dan.

The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "Each and Every Thing" Three Stars. Dan Hoyle gets three stars just by showing up. You will see and love this show, and if you wait to see it again towards the end of the run we think it will be even better.

"Dan Hoyle: Each and Every Thing"
The Marsh
1062 Valencia Street, San Francisco
EXTENDED through Aug. 24

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