Goethe Institut – 812 7th St NW

Remaining Performances:

Friday, July 15th, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, July 19th, 6 p.m.
Saturday, July 23rd, 3:30 p.m.

They say: “In search of adventure in Poland 1989, a young man discovers a female assassin, a Jewish skinhead, a mysterious bird, and the end of innocence. John Feffer plays seven characters in this one-man show, with an assist from the bird.”

Lindsey’s Take: The Bird is a story from John Feffer’s life, interspersed with the imagined views of friends and acquaintances and the historic events leading up to that point. He plays each character one at a time in monologue, switching between his own recollections of that summer in Poland and alternate view that tells another side of his story. The bird in question isn’t central to the story as much as it is a frame for the events of a summer, a girl, a political movement and a search for the past.

The performance is surprisingly funny at times, despite a serious subject. Feffer’s observations about his life, about people in general, and about himself are delivered with accuracy, honesty, and a tinge of humor. He imitates himself in a Polish accent. He mixes wisdom and wit. He tells a captivating personal story.

While he starts with the tale of the bird, Feffer’s story really begins as a college graduate looking for adventure and willing to take any job overseas—-even Poland in 1989, as the Solidarity movement helped begin the transition from Eastern bloc to democracy. As he styles himself as a foreign correspondent, he immerses himself in the stories of Polish Jews, finding his ancestor’s hometown and some history along the way.

See it if: You’re interested in a personal story with observations on life, shared history and a little humor.

Skip it if: You’re here for the fringiest of Fringe, not for serious storytelling.