Life, love and Stevie Jay’s one-man show
By Nelson Pressley
Monday, July 11, 2011
Hi, Stevie Jay! It’s me, Nelson. We met Friday night as you personally greeted everyone coming into your Fringe show “life, love, sex, death . . . and other works in progress (a multi-chakra extravaganza).” I had fun, thanks, and I liked your disarming style; the show felt like your little party for us. I mean, the way you worked in cool tunes on the boom box and danced so joyfully while keeping your monologue low-key and intimately conversational — you really kept the group alert and alive and in the moment. (Though yeah, you were right, the kid texting in the front row had to go. You handled that beautifully, staying positive, letting him decide.)
How could I write a conventional review of your performance? It would be breaking the faith you instilled. It’s not that your show (in the Shop, a hip little room) is really radical; it’s the familiar stand-up/solo performance thing, personal stories and observations told with humor (can’t say you’re afraid to be goofy) and a bit of literary shape.
What was different, dude, was you. You hit an elusive Fringe target: You break down the usual barriers and connect. And it’s mainly because you’re sincere, or at least you seem to be in the 70-minute version of what you told us is usually a longer show. I thought you were really smart about teasing issues of sexuality into view and then being playfully resistant about the way we get hung up on labels. We rehash this publicly all the time, yet you made it fresh.
No doubt this sort of enlightenment-seminar entertainment won't be everyone's bag, but that's cool. If the Fringe has chakras - and it does - you are one of its blissful energy centers.