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All the Rage

What is the price of Experience? Do men buy it for a song?
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy
And in the wither'd field where the farmer ploughs for bread in vain.
--William Blake, The Price of Experience, 1797

Judging from what most folks say, they'd like to make the world a better place, but somehow it's hard to see how we will get there from here, where anger rules the day.

Martin Moran in All the Rage
Martin Moran in All the Rage
Enter Martin Moran, playwright and performer (The Tricky Part) and Broadway veteran, with his latest one-man show.

Moran has had some hard knocks, including being molested as a kid by his camp counselor; and yet, here he is, recounting in observant detail, the wondrous and wicked people that he's met, the gamut of trials and tribulations that he's experienced, and the enlightened reactions to the worst this world can offer that he's witnessed.

There's no complaint here, mind you. Moran is evolved way beyond that; rather, the 80-minute one-man one-act is filled with astute observations, eye-opening insights, and hilarious anecdotes, amplified by some well-chosen props and visual aids.

In one of the evening's most telling passages, Moran recounts his days as an actor in New York and his part-time job for Doctors without Borders, working as a translator and advocate for a refugee, Siba, from a section of French equitorial Africa (what we know as Chad and Sudan), seeking asylum in the U.S. It's a heart-rendering and beautiful tale.

Another thread in Moran's impressive monologue concerns his father's second wife, a chain smoker with a helmet of red hair in the style of George Washington's wig. And yet, despite "Joyce's" poison tongue, Moran finds it impossible to lash out at her—or any of his other tormenters.

Perhaps it was Moran's stint as Jesus in Godspell that inculcated a sense of forgiveness in him; regardless, his ability to "become one with" his tormentors, rather than angry with them, offers us an enlightened alternative to revenge, which remains an all-too-common individual and collective response in our day-to-day world.

Curious Theatre's regional premiere of Martin Moran's All the Rage runs through October 5th. For tickets:303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org.

Bob Bows

 

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