Photo by Peter Prato.
“In Saudi Arabia, they are chasing me because I not enough Muslim. Now I’m running from US because I too much Muslim.” Hani
Dan Hoyle’s one man show Border People, presented by the Working Theater opened tonight at the A.R.T./New York Theatre, 502 West 53rd Street. This show originally had a 10-month sold-out run in San Francisco. Hoyle is extremely talented, but the show is highly misleading. Border People was crafted from conversations and interviews from around the country after President Trump’s election. Through them we meet a Latino cop, Jarrett, a six-foot-five martial arts ex vet, who is a black man from the South Bronx, now running a juice cart. Hani, is a Saudi Arabian without a country, Gareth a gay pagan goat rancher, who helps illegals, Noe is a homeless, HIV-positive and addicted to drugs. There is a popular DJ who works out a lot. Then there is a Honduran immigrant while escaping gang violence gets caught illegally crossing the boarder and is returned to Mexico. Altogether, there are 11 disconnected stories about people who do not always seem to be escaping boarders.
In the press release it states: Border People is a new piece of journalistic theater profiling those who live on or across borders, and is based on interviews and conversations with immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and border crossers of all kinds yet Jarett only crossed a boarder because he was in the navy, Noe has stayed in Mexico and many of the other seem to have stayed in their own confines. I honestly did not see the connection between a lot of the storylines.
Hoyle in jeans and a T-shirt does manage to create 11 district different characters, but I am surprised that he was able to take on these different characters without being criticized in this “PC correct” climate.
Developed with and directed by his longtime Charlie Varon in San Francisco, off-Broadway his is director Nicole A. Watson. One has to wonder after such a successful production in San Francisco why the switch?
There are many who will love this piece, but both my guest and I just found it completely confusing. Talent driven, but scratch your head confusing.
Border People: Working Theater, A.R.T./New York Theatre, 502 West 53rd St. until Feb. 22nd