“In My Corner” Review by Rose Desena

This Week in Theater

 

                        “In My Corner”

Written: by Lizbeth Hasse and Joe Orrach

 

Review by Rose Desena

 

I have to admit I didn’t know what to expect, the press release mentioned boxing, dancing, jazz, father and son. Wow, that’s a lot in a one man show.

 

I was plenty surprised, from the minute I walked into the theater to the very end I was completely entertained with more energy than I thought possible generated from a single person on a stage.  I can only describe Joe Orrach (actor, writer) as an electrifying bundle of pure, smoking energy.

 

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Joe started life on the streets of NYC and later moved to a mixed neighborhood in Long Island. His father was a hard-ass, macho Puerto Rican who bullied his family. His youngest son, Joe, had the talent to be everything his father couldn’t be, a champ in the ring. He goes from telling us about tender moments where his father would help him shave to his father’s violent rage after watching a fight on TV that didn’t go his way.

 

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His mother came from Italian immigrants and was a cliché of that era, chained to the stove and kept in her place by the dominate man she had to marry in order to escape her family’s house and have a life for the child she was carrying.  All of this just further solidifying the family’s struggles.

 

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Joe tells his stories of his life at home, and time spent with his three other siblings. He goes into detail about his boxing days, while he dances with his speed bag.   Yes, you heard me; he literally dances with a speed bag. I don’t know how Jeremiah Chechik managed to slow him down enough to direct him; he must have left the theater utterly exhausted. At one point, I was pretty tempted to jump on stage and join him while he was dancing a very spicy Salsa, but I figured I would have gotten thrown out so I restrained myself.  Believe me when I say it was hard to sit still even for a person without Salsa in her blood.  Both  people on either side of me were taping their feet and swaying their hips.

 

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The three-piece, live jazz band is a brilliant addition and added just the right pizazz to keep you mesmerized and in the moment. They were fantastic and worth the price of a ticket on their own.

 

Joe is fabulous, as he brings to life all the characters, he plays. He just doesn’t tell his story, he dances it, fights it and sings it until he is pouring in sweat, and the audience is spent from the heat coming off the stage.

 

This is one of the most creative productions I have seen this year and certainly the best one-man show I have experienced in quite a while.

 

I am not going to tell you anymore. If you want to experience a true force of nature that will have you dancing in your seats go see this. I was so excited after the play I went home and danced around the house. Really, it was that powerful.

 

Joe, I don’t care what your dad said; you are all about the Clave.
This is a “GO SEE.” Done period finished, just GO?

 

“In My Corner”

Directed By: Jeremiah Chechik

Cast: Joe Orrach

Written: by Lizbeth Hasse and Joe Orrach

Music Ensemble: Matthew Clark, Ronnie Gutierrez, Eugene Warren

Music: Matthew Clark

Runs: Thursday, Friday, Saturday @ 8pm and Sunday @ 2pm Closes Nov. 3rd

The Odyssey Theater

2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.

Los Angeles Ca. 90025

WWW. Odysseytheater.com

As always we welcome your comments.

Roses Rating1

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