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The Neon Man and Me
Warehouse Arts Beyond
Monday, July 23, 9:15 pm
Friday, July 27, 9 pm
Sunday, July 29, 2 pm
Performer says: “A spiritual rock and roll comedy about best friends. Award-winning performer Slash Coleman brings to life 30 characters who tell an expressive, touching and hilarious story of his struggle to come to terms with his best friend’s death. Includes nine monologues and an original music score.”
Trey’s take: Turns out Nutshell isn’t the only play with the elephants. Recovering Virginia refugee Slash Coleman throws himself (literally: it’s an exuberantly physical performance) through a whirlwind account of his life as an artsy wanderer — a Southern Jewish guy running from the “Oy Vey/Yee-ha” collisions of his youth but checking in regularly with the sax-playing “Pentecostal chick-magnet” he made friends with in college. The pachyderms? He obsesses about the size of his schnozz, which leads to internal monologues involving elephantine mating rituals.
Couple of overdone moments (a cartoon-fundamentalist college prez, a brie-ripe French accent) and a string of underwhelming songs (perp is a better lyricist than melodist) only minimally detract from a solid show. ‘Cause Coleman does the writerly essentials well — he’s got the knack of observation, detail, imagination, metaphor, structure, hyperbole — and most important, in a show about a guy remembering the guy who kept him anchored, he knows how to be sentimental without being saccharine.
See it if: You’ve ever depended on somebody more than you realized until it was too late.
Skip it if: You’re queasily dubious about whether two guys can care that much without doing the Brokeback Mambo.