Through June 22.
Three years ago, in a rehearsal room at Intiman Theater, Andrew Weems performed the unofficial world premiere of his autobiographical solo show, Namaste Man. Weems had come to Intiman from New York to play Andrey in Three Sisters, directed by Bartlett Sher. Weems told Sher he was working on a solo show and asked if he could perform it for the Three Sisters team. "We said yes, mostly just to humor him," Sher says. "But it really stuck with me." So Sher agreed to direct the official world premiere, now playing at Intiman.
Namaste Man is a series of elliptical stories about Weems's childhood in Zambia and Nepal (his father was a state department official) and adulthood as a broke actor in New York. Weems leaps through his stories with sprightly, almost impish, energy. His repeated, high-pitched shouts of "Langtang!" (a Nepalese national park where he took a field trip) may now be a permanent fixture of my memory.
He tells tales of hippies and hash bars, yak dung and children chewing betel nuts, but most of his stories could have happened in a Cincinnati suburb. They concern his engineer father and his chain-smoking, inscrutable mother, and kids at his school. To his credit, Weems doesn't exploit the exoticism of his settings, but just lets them give his stories slight inflections. And he avoids being too saccharine about Nepal by relating a story from his New York years, when a Nepali scam artist taints whatever romantic generalizations Weems—or anybody—might have been tempted to make about the Nepali character. BRENDAN KILEY
Through June 15.
Mark Pinkosh, the only man onstage during the entirety of Road Movie, is incredibly talented. It may be a cliché to say that his body is an instrument, but there's no other way to put it. He twists his body into some impressively weird shapes while mimicking the throes of ecstasy or floating in a pool, and each of his characters has a distinctive body language. Pinkosh could almost do the entire show without talking.
Thankfully, Pinkosh isn't silent. He charts the course of Joel, a bitter New Yorker trying to drive to San Francisco in order to track down the love of his life, with a genuinely affecting arc. Four out of five of the accents he assumes (only the Valley girl feels a touch lazy) are dead-on. His New York accent is perfect—Pinkosh understands that it's not so much about geography as it is about toxically high cynicism levels.
But Road Movie is not flawless, and the problem is in the script, by Godfrey Hamilton. This is a play about the AIDS crisis, and while it will no doubt touch the people in the audience who have lived through the atrocity of the Reagan years, the play's structure—Joel learns Very Important Lessons about AIDS and mortality from four people—is a bit stifling and unimaginative.
Pinkosh plays a scene between two lovers and musters great chemistry with himself; to give him a little less plot and a little more room to showboat—to make this more of a one-man show—would have been preferable. PAUL CONSTANT