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      Sure of This One
    Not so grand larceny

    "Sure of This One" is built around an intense story about an armed robbery but gets sidetracked in a confusion of seeming irrelevancies.


    "Sure of This One" is a one-man show in the shape of a bowtie — tight and gripping in the middle but loose and puffy at the ends.

    The idea for Michael McCauley's show started when he was robbed at gunpoint while working in a lower Manhattan restaurant. He describes the event second-by-second, he goes through it again to describe his thoughts as it happened, and again to recount it for the police, and again to expose the raw emotions that the experience brought out. This telling and retelling may sound repetitive, but it isn't — each time McCauley burrows deeper into the experience he uncovers new layers of feeling. It's the most rewarding part of the show.

    Written and performed by: Michael McCauley.
    Directed by: Charles Gale.

    Related links: Official site
    But before and after the robbery segment of the show is a confusion of seemingly unrelated bits about relationships, family, love, Ireland, drinking, growing up, whatever. Some of these items are funny or touching, but it's hard to see how they have anything to do with the robbery story. And an unfortunate aspect of MacCauley's style is to clutter his storytelling with so many asides that whatever is authentic in his tale is nearly buried under his need to keep things fast and snappy. Many of these asides involve irrelevant quotations from movies and popular songs that trivialize the truth of what he has to say, like stuffing a steak with Froot Loops.

    It's too bad, because there's the heart of a truly moving show in "Sure of This One," but it's held down by the confusion surrounding it.

    MARCH 12, 2000

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