|Drama Desk Solo Show Nominations
Categories: Latest News,Off-Broadway Shows
Posted: May 14, 2012
by Ted Greenberg
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For four years plus, I have taken the Soho Playhouse stage by storm every Saturday night to perform my mostly one-man comedy show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer. Being a solo performer has its advantages — the heaps of praise, the thrill of performing for a live audience — and its challenges — what happens on stage is truly on your shoulders. Some people are really up for the challenge, and I’m proud to say that another show that ran for many months in the lovely venue I call home is up for a Drama Desk Award. Baba Brinkman (pictured below), creator and star of The Rap Guide to Evolution, will vie for the Outstanding Solo Performance trophy.
Brinkman, a Canadian performer known for his hip hop influenced The Canterbury Tales and The Rap Guide to Evolution, rocked New York for nearly a year with those two shows. The Rap Guide to Evolution first wowed audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before landing in New York and touring around the United States. The show uses Darwin’s theories to explore the evolution of hip hop, all framed by Brinkman’s rapping and Mr. Simmonds’ turntablism. Equally thought-provoking and hilarious, Brinkman turns in a tour de force performance that rouses audiences and wins him many fans, as evidenced by the crowds waiting to meet him post-show. I only wish the show were still running in New York because it was a terrific example of the ingenuity of one-person shows.
Of course, the Drama Desk nominations also shine a spotlight on some of the other great solo performances of the 2011 – 2012 season: Suli Holum in Chimera, Jeff Key in The Eyes of Babylon, Cillian Murphy in Misterman, Denis O’Hare in An Iliad and Stephen Spillane in An Iliad. Film star Murphy (28 Days Later, The Dark Night) was terrific and chilling in Misterman while Denis O’Hare, known for his thrilling turn on True Blood, shared the role in An Iliad with Stephen Spillane, alternating performance nights throughout its run at New York Theatre Workshop.
Brinkman is in great company amidst the tough competition. But, for a man who has created a show influenced by Charles Darwin, an early proponent of the “survival of the fittest” theory, he wouldn’t have it any other way. When the Drama Desk Awards are presented on June 3, 2012 at The Town Hall in New York, I will be rooting for Baba Brinkman.
Tags: drama desk nominations, solo shows