Sunday, August 6, 2023

Minnesota Fringe Festival 2023: "My Only Hope for a Hero"


Show: 8


By: Rogues Gallery Arts

Created by: Duck Washington

Location: Southern Theater

Summary: A solo show by actor/director/improvisor/writer Duck Washington about his lifelong search for a hero.

Highlights: I was warned to bring tissues to this one, sage advice that I pass on to you. It's not a total tearjerker; it starts off as a very funny and personal story about Duck's love of all things Star Wars and G.I. Joe, which inspired his love of heroes, and his deep desire to be one. He shares a few quotes about heroes, trying to get to the bottom of what being a hero actually means. The title of the show is from one of Duck's favorite movies, Joe vs. the Volcano (which I now need to watch), uttered by Tom Hanks as Joe. Things take a more serious turn when talks about his father, who fought in Vietnam, the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, his mother's health issues, and the time he encountered a young woman about to jump off a bridge. He comes to the conclusion that you can't wait around for a hero, you have to be one in your own life and the lives of those you encounter. In what becomes a call to action, he asks us to help him, to stand up for people who need help. It's a passionate plea that doesn't feel preachy or judgmental, and after an hour of stories and pop culture references, with charming two-dimensional set pieces for illustration, it's impossible not to be on board. This is solo show that's playful, fun, and funny, but also meaningful and moving.