UnReel

Critics

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Reviews: 0

Audience

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100 %

Reviews: 3

A riff on Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape, UNREEL recreates a foolish young man's uncertain journey to his dark side on the night before his college entrance exams. Almost 40 years later, he's finally beginning to understand what happened. Or is he? A comedic and poignant personal journey, demonstrating the confusing truth of philosopher Soren Kiergegaard's maxim: "Life must be lived forwards, but it can only be understood backwards".

The arrogant Narrator, the insecure Writer, and the angsty 17-year old are all true, yet contradictory shades of the same performer, and illumine our life-long struggle to claim our place in our world.

 

Reviews

There is so much going on to keep us occupied from start to finish, from the crazy graphics on the walls to switches in character (from writer to narrator to teenage boy struggling to study for the SAT's) with even a little drug exchange thrown in. I loved the the jazzy style of the writing. It was non-linear with a generous dose of non-sequitors thrown in, like beat poetry mixed with existentialism. All of Denzil's characters are fun physical manifestations of the various selves trying to make sense of his story. I especially loved when he started slam dancing to 80's punk rock as the 17 year old. Denzil Meyers is a gifted performer who draws you into the craziness of his mind through well crafted physicality and complicated sentences. He doesn't let you or himself off the hook with his exploration of the truth, except perhaps when he takes a moment to show you the best way to peel a banana. I am not really sure what I saw or what it all meant, but it was a lot of fun and engaging. I would see this show again and hope he continues to develop it. The Fringe is the perfect place to launch such a show. It was fun to spend an hour in the middle of the night and get a glimpse into the inner colorful rooms of Denzil's memory. I thought I knew my friend Denzil, but UNREEL proves that there is so much going on inside each of us that even our close friends and collaborators will never really know us. What is brilliant about this surreal solo show is Denzil's non-judgemental look into his own crowded brain to uncover a memory from the distant past.

sweet - claire partin


Denzil Meyers revisits a pivotal night in his life long ago in an autobiographical one man show, and we find out that, for better or worse it has made all the difference! Denzil is able to shave more than 30 years off with a quick costume change and channel the spirit of an intellectual but rebellious teen, who as the pressure mounts to conform to society can't find enough solace in playing basketball or rocking out to his favorite band. Along the way there are many laugh out loud moments as he criticizes religion and the powers that be in the search for meaning in life. The idea that we are here to exalt God is skewered spot on with the line, “Surely, we're here to do something more than be God's fluffer!” What I didn't like Perhaps it would be a violation of the meaning of the play, but I'd like to know what happened the next day. The play hints at a dark outcome, but leaves the result of the inciting incident in the story somewhat ambiguous.

sweet - David Lucarelli


A very clever take on the classic one-man-play, Krapp's Last Tape, only instead of a 69-year-old man doing the soul-searching, it's a 17-year-old kid the night before he takes his college SAT exam. As you can image, things go wonky (not to give away the wonkiness) and the kid makes some mistakes we can all relate to, having survived being teenagers ourselves. This is an ambitious attempt to mimic/parody the writing style of Samuel Beckett, and mostly it works, so much so that those not familiar with Beckett's play may be lost in translation, because young Denzil says and does things that seem random if you don't know the play. Also, depending on how you interpret the ending of Krapp's Last Tape (which is purposely ambiguous, and has been debated in AP English classes for decades), you're not sure what fate lies for young Denzil at the end of the night. Since the playwright fully admits that this is his personal story, we know teenage Denzil did not kill himself. So then that begs the question, what happened the next day when young Denzil was supposed to take the SAT exam? Did he blow it off? Did he suffer through the test and bomb? What happened? Still, it's not enough of a quibble to take away from the experience. Make sure you see this with friends, as you'll want to discuss it together after you leave.

sweet - Stacy Dymalski


There is so much going on to keep us occupied from start to finish, from the crazy graphics on the walls to switches in character (from writer to narrator to teenage boy struggling to study for the SAT's) with even a little drug exchange thrown in. I loved the the jazzy style of the writing. It was non-linear with a generous dose of non-sequitors thrown in, like beat poetry mixed with existentialism. All of Denzil's characters are fun physical manifestations of the various selves trying to make sense of his story. I especially loved when he started slam dancing to 80's punk rock as the 17 year old. Denzil Meyers is a gifted performer who draws you into the craziness of his mind through well crafted physicality and complicated sentences. He doesn't let you or himself off the hook with his exploration of the truth, except perhaps when he takes a moment to show you the best way to peel a banana. I am not really sure what I saw or what it all meant, but it was a lot of fun and engaging. I would see this show again and hope he continues to develop it. The Fringe is the perfect place to launch such a show. It was fun to spend an hour in the middle of the night and get a glimpse into the inner colorful rooms of Denzil's memory. I thought I knew my friend Denzil, but UNREEL proves that there is so much going on inside each of us that even our close friends and collaborators will never really know us. What is brilliant about this surreal solo show is Denzil's non-judgemental look into his own crowded brain to uncover a memory from the distant past.

sweet - claire partin


Denzil Meyers revisits a pivotal night in his life long ago in an autobiographical one man show, and we find out that, for better or worse it has made all the difference! Denzil is able to shave more than 30 years off with a quick costume change and channel the spirit of an intellectual but rebellious teen, who as the pressure mounts to conform to society can't find enough solace in playing basketball or rocking out to his favorite band. Along the way there are many laugh out loud moments as he criticizes religion and the powers that be in the search for meaning in life. The idea that we are here to exalt God is skewered spot on with the line, “Surely, we're here to do something more than be God's fluffer!” What I didn't like Perhaps it would be a violation of the meaning of the play, but I'd like to know what happened the next day. The play hints at a dark outcome, but leaves the result of the inciting incident in the story somewhat ambiguous.

sweet - David Lucarelli


A very clever take on the classic one-man-play, Krapp's Last Tape, only instead of a 69-year-old man doing the soul-searching, it's a 17-year-old kid the night before he takes his college SAT exam. As you can image, things go wonky (not to give away the wonkiness) and the kid makes some mistakes we can all relate to, having survived being teenagers ourselves. This is an ambitious attempt to mimic/parody the writing style of Samuel Beckett, and mostly it works, so much so that those not familiar with Beckett's play may be lost in translation, because young Denzil says and does things that seem random if you don't know the play. Also, depending on how you interpret the ending of Krapp's Last Tape (which is purposely ambiguous, and has been debated in AP English classes for decades), you're not sure what fate lies for young Denzil at the end of the night. Since the playwright fully admits that this is his personal story, we know teenage Denzil did not kill himself. So then that begs the question, what happened the next day when young Denzil was supposed to take the SAT exam? Did he blow it off? Did he suffer through the test and bomb? What happened? Still, it's not enough of a quibble to take away from the experience. Make sure you see this with friends, as you'll want to discuss it together after you leave.

sweet - Stacy Dymalski