A pupil person
"Mud In Your Eye" is the latest pleasantly unpredictable performance piece by John Fleck of the famed "NEA Four."
By ROBIN EISGRAU
It's been 15 years since John Fleck, one of the "NEA Four" (along with Holly
Hughes, Karen Finley and Tim Miller) has performed at this venue, and he's
returned with a show that comes across as a twisted cocktail hour touching
on topics personal and political with a psycho-showbizzy flair.
On a stage
draped with red, white and blue foil stars and similarly colored grand-opening
style flags, a bar is set up. As you take your seats for the
evening's performance, a kindly man asks you if you would like a drink and
informs you that the charge for the beverage is just a $1.75 donation. (They
mix up a mean margarita.)
On the left of the stage is a '60s-style chair shaped like a hand with an
American flag draped over it. In front of the chair is a harp, and a young
woman sits down and plays.
|MUD IN YOUR EYE|
|Written by: John Fleck.|
Directed by: David Schweizer.
Cast: John Fleck, Tanya Selvaratnam, John Topping, Harvey Perr.
From behind the seats comes Fleck, preceded by a TV bearing a video image
of himself as he recites a play-by-play reverie/litany of what he's doing
at that moment. "I remember stepping on a man's toes." He says neurotically
as he does just that. He then climbs over the shoulders of the audience to
get to the bar onstage and stands on top of it, giving the audience a good
look at his platform shoes. He talks about almost jumping off of a bridge
and the audience starts chanting "Jump! jump!" and he does. On the night I
say the show he seemed to hurt his ankle and called cut as he hit the
ground, limped over to the bar stool and talked about how hard it is to be a
In his engaging, chatty style, Fleck tries to sell
copies of the "Mud In Your Eye" movie, has a couple of drinks ("I only drink
when I do these shows," he says "I use alcohol like indians use peyote.")
does a rootin' tootin' dance number about how George W. Bush was supposed to
have been born a girl, and acts out an adolescent episode involving a hand
puppet. "Mud In Your Eye" is alternately funny, thought-provoking and trippy a
hefty portion of performance art at its most inspired.
|MAY 8, 2001|
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