Johnny '81

Critics

LemonMeter

Reviews: 2

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

It's 1981! The corpse of disco, the flames of punk, the plastic smell of new wave, and the balls of rock ‘n' roll, all converge and merge on a seemingly peaceful street in West Hollywood, CA, along with the stories of a 12-year-old boy raised by a pill-popping single mother and the many gay men in their life.

“Storytelling with a pulse!”

Against a backdrop of music, JOHNNY '81 weaves together a collection of stories based on a 12-year-old boy's experience of living in West Hollywood during the early 1980's. These semi-autobiographical tales bring to life the humor and drama of how a group of gay men became strange and amazing surrogate fathers to a pre-teen boy and his younger brother. The show puts forth the premise that the stories of our lives are not made up by ourselves, but rather by those people who choose to share their own lives with us, or choose not to; and we ultimately decide each day whether to bury these stories or sling them over our shoulders, no matter the weight, and own them. JOHNNY '81 is like spending the day listening to an old record album, or like being at a concert, with stories that make us reflect on our lives and the world we live in, or tales that make you just want to get up out of your seat and dance!

Reviews

Avatar

What Johnny ’81 might lack in spectacle, it makes up for in authenticity, and the fact that the boy in the stories became the wordsmith who is telling them is something of an inspiration. 90 minutes is long for such a relentlessly static piece but the small audience I was part of was attentive and appreciative.

sweet - Guy Picot - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


Avatar

Johnny ’81 was 90 minutes of storyteller John Gonzales (FB) telling a series of stories about his 12 year-old self growing up in West Hollywood, and the characters that inhabited his neighborhood and whose paths intersected with his life. That’s it. No more, no less. They showed a kid who was forced to grow up sooner perhaps than he should, but one where a wide variety of people demonstrated that they cared about him. It was proof about it taking a village to raise a child, especially when one’s parents weren’t always there.

sweet - Daniel Faigin - Observations Along the Road - ...read full review


Avatar

What Johnny ’81 might lack in spectacle, it makes up for in authenticity, and the fact that the boy in the stories became the wordsmith who is telling them is something of an inspiration. 90 minutes is long for such a relentlessly static piece but the small audience I was part of was attentive and appreciative.

sweet - Guy Picot - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


Avatar

Johnny ’81 was 90 minutes of storyteller John Gonzales (FB) telling a series of stories about his 12 year-old self growing up in West Hollywood, and the characters that inhabited his neighborhood and whose paths intersected with his life. That’s it. No more, no less. They showed a kid who was forced to grow up sooner perhaps than he should, but one where a wide variety of people demonstrated that they cared about him. It was proof about it taking a village to raise a child, especially when one’s parents weren’t always there.

sweet - Daniel Faigin - Observations Along the Road - ...read full review