Theater Simple



"The Slipknot"

Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 7:30 p.m.

This performance will be in the intimate Studio Theatre.

Tickets: $20.00
Seniors: $15.00

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: That’s a Canadian web suffix, fyi. You can find him pretty easily on Facebook and Twitter.

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 see.

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. andrewheadshot-copy-3

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.


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13406 E. Philadelphia St.
Whittier, CA 90608 562.907.4200