Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 7:30 p.m.
will be in the intimate Studio Theatre.
Children & Students: $10
Journey back with the speaker to dead-end
jobs of his youth: driving a giant truck, working phones
for the postal service, and being a drugstore stockboy.
TJ Dawe's The Slipknot is a spellbinding
comic monologue, by turns hysterical and heartbreaking,
frantic and thoughtful.
Performed by theater simple co-founder, Andrew Litzky,
The Slipknot brims with observations, both
wise and outlandish: on long-distance relationships, the
history of Santa Claus, recreational dramamine (and why
you should never EVER mail meat, no matter what the
clerk at the 7-11 tells you).
TJ DAWE - playwright (and co-author of
theater simple's int'l hit 52 Pick Up!!)
TJ is a Vancouver, BC based writer/performer/director/dramaturg
who makes his living creating and touring solo shows.
He’s performed in more than one hundred theatre
festivals in the US, Canada and overseas. You can buy
some of his scripts through Amazon - including The
Slipknot. He debuted his show Tired Cliches as part of
the Seattle Fringe way back in 1998, when there was an
earlier incarnation of the Seattle Fringe. He previewed
his show Lucky 9 at North Seattle Community College in
2010. He recently performed as part of the ensemble cast
for PostSecret: the Show in Olympia, Tacoma and
Bellingham. He’ll hit the road in the new year as
director and co-writer of One Woman Sex and the City. He
co-created The One Man Star Wars Trilogy and One Man
Lord of the Rings, both of which have been touring the
world for more than a decade. He co-wrote the play
Toothpaste and Cigars, which became the feature film
What If, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan and Adam
Driver. He teaches a course on how to create solo shows
at Langara College in Vancouver. You can watch his show
Medicine (which is about ayahuasca) in its entirety on
YouTube. He’s currently working on House of the Mouse -
his sixteenth solo show. He has a website he very
occasionally updates: tjdawe.ca. That’s a Canadian web
suffix, fyi. You can find him pretty easily on Facebook
K. BRIAN NEEL - director
A professional performer, playwright, award-winning
director, and educator based in Seattle. He has directed
new Vaudeville, large-scale opera, Dr. Seuss, character-improv-based
theater, ghost stories, performance art in an Airstream,
and actual court cases. Brian also tours original solo
plays all over the world, and is a member of Magic
Circle Mime, a company that incorporates physical
theater into the symphony experience.
Drugstores are Full of Euphemisms.
“Slipknot” is not an inappropriate word for this
outstandingly performed and well-crafted solo play which
opened at 18th & Union, (formerly New City) this
weekend. Slip refers to casual jobs one just innocently
“slips” into without realizing the knots which will bind
us as we keep working at them day by day, week by week,
month by month until we feel our brains have been
reformatted to do only that one thing. Andrew Litzky’s
superlative performance was, for me, a once in a
life-time experience, because it was without a doubt not
only the best solo performance I have ever seen, but
probably, the best solo performance I will likely ever
With exceptionally good comic timing, as well as facial
expression and physicality to match, he kept the
audience enthralled for 90 minutes with a vigorously
energetic and touching performance. Possessing an
elastic face, whose expressions were used to punctuate
the absurdity of his menial jobs, Litzsky’s performance
was reminiscent of Art Carney’s character Ed Norton in
the ‘50’s sit-com the Honeymooners.
Written by Canadian TJ Dawe, the subject matter was
fairly standard material for biographical solo plays; it
was about the “day-jobs” young people have during the
summers in college, and just after. Even Milos Forman,
the Czech movie director of Hair and One Flew Over the
Cukoo’s Nest, had a solo-show about being a waiter in
London, after he fled Prague in 1968.
However, what was original was the structure of
Slipknot. Three stories about three different jobs, at
three different times in the author’s life are told
simultaneously, along with the various personal
frustrations and lifestyle issues, plaguing students and
young adults. How to re-locate to a new city without a
job or a place to live! How to keep a long distance
relationship alive! How to survive civil service
customer service jobs! How to deal with embarrassed
customers in a drug-store! How to get fired from a job
which scares the bejesus out of you! And most
importantly how to survive driving in a snow storm, from
Vancouver to Calgary, over the Rocky Mountains, without
snow tires! The text was incredibly witty and contained
a lot of hilarious one-liners.
What made this show particularly intriguing, besides
Litzsky’s outstanding performance, and K. Brian Neel’s
direction, was the way the three stories were told in
bits and pieces, but when they structurally and
thematically collided, the actor seamlessly switched
from one narrative to the other. It was highly effective
and had a tender unexpected ending. 18th & Union, the
old New City space, is perfect for one person shows.
An opportunity to see such a superb solo performance
does not come along often in Seattle or anywhere for
that matter, this is a must see, so brave the weather
and take a break from Christmas shows.