The View From Here #156: IL, MO, DC, MN
Alert! CHICAGO AREA PERFORMANCES coming up this fall! “Lot o’ Shakespeare” at Lewis University October 9! “Moliere than Thou” at DePaul October 23 [6 pm; Schmidt Academic Center, Rm 161, 2320 N. Kenmore, Chicago, IL 60614]! I don’t get to do these around Chicago often, and this may be my first local public performance of “Lot o’ Shakespeare,” so come join me!
“Magnifique!... I thoroughly enjoyed this most entertaining session. What an amazing actor!”
“Awsome performance. Super entertaining.”
“Extremely entertaining. Wonderful way to share Moliere’s work with students of all ages.”
“Fabulous! Truly brings Moliere & his work to life—very engaging!”
“Excellent Bring him back!”
“His usual brilliant presentation...”
|Hosting the "Fringe Binge" (Photos by J. Maino)|
|Interviewing Katherine Glover|
|Interviewing Phillip Low|
|Texting late at night...|
“Greatest Speech” is a great history lesson
A video of a passionate yet laughably executed stump speech is projected as the audience takes its seats for Timothy Mooney’s The Greatest Speech of All Time on this year’s Kansas City Fringe Festival. Thankfully, Mooney’s Greatest Speech is very well executed in a delightful blend of humor and history.
Mooney features eight iconic speeches in his engaging and ambitious hour-long show. Moving chronologically from Socrates to Martin Luther King, Jr., Mooney gives life to words that hold significance in our shared human history. He attempts to examine why these particular orations have transcended eras and how they may affect us now in the twenty-first century. Heady stuff, but Mooney achieves this with charisma, energetic pacing, and interesting anecdotes about each speech and speaker, keeping the audience riveted. Often I felt transported to the times and places of these speeches, aided by historically related images projected behind Mooney.
Mooney doesn’t cheapen his interpretations of the speakers with exaggerated accents, although he does embody their characters fully and believably. His inflections and projection are strong and clear, and the sheer amount of memorization for Greatest Speech is staggering. Mooney admirably and impressively rises to the occasion.The individual messages of each speech are expressed successfully. The profuse irony in Socrates’ Apology speech, the indignation towards slavery in Frederick Douglass’ The Hypocrisy of American Slavery, and the willfulness and absurdity in Teddy Roosevelt’s The Leader and the Cause (he had just been shot, but insisted on delivering his speech) are unmistakable and tangible.
The highlights for me, in addition to those by Douglass and Teddy Roosevelt, are the First Inaugural Address by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I’ve Been to the Mountaintop. FDR’s depression-era address is astonishingly timely to today’s political and economic climate in the United States, and it elicited spontaneous applause from the opening-night audience at key moments. King’s inspirational eloquence in Mountaintop, delivered in Memphis the day before his assassination, is a fitting and moving conclusion to the show.
The opening performance of Timothy Mooney’s The Greatest Speech of All Time was sold out at the door. This show is appropriate for all ages. (Kristen Shafel Omiccioli)
I got an earlier start Saturday, beginning with a 6 p.m. show... The theatre filled to capacity for "The Greatest Speech of All Time" edited and performed by Timothy Mooney, who brought historical figures to life, and relevance through their own words. It was a powerful performance, and it proved impossible to top as the high point of the evening. (Deborah Hirsch, The Pitch)
Audience responses that showed up online, included:
Tim Mooney's acting, content, and arrangement were top notch. The entire audience responded with enthusiastic applause at the conclusion of every speech, as well as at the end of the performance. Mr. Mooney's inspiring delivery connected the audience to international historical personalities... His choice of images, displayed on the backdrop while he spoke, kept me attentive and focused on his oratory… A wonderful show for a mature audience of high school or undergraduate students, or people interested in history and/or public speaking. Enthusiastically recommend you don't miss this one! (Susanders)
Tim Mooney undertook selecting speeches and excerpts from famous speeches that stood the test of time and still play well for today's audience. The amount of material memorized and presented culminates a monumental undertaking as Mooney rapid fire talks for one solid hour, delivering outstanding orations from times past.. The show is well worth seeing, especially for those who may have studied those characters and read or heard some of their speeches. (BobEvans)
Great speeches performed by a great orator This is Tim's third year at KC Fringe and probably his best. If you enjoy history and love great speeches, this should be the next play you see. (alanskoalas)
Some of the lesser-known speeches are particularly interesting: Frederic Douglas's address to the "women's anti-slavery sewing circle" of Rochester, NY, and MLK's address to the sanitation workers of Memphis still stun today. I wanted to replace all this year's campaign ads on television with FDR's address on the roots of the economic problems of the 1930s and how to fix them. His excerpts of one of Teddy Roosevelt's one of campaign speech for the Bull Moose Party brought moments of humor to an otherwise serious and moving experience. Highly recommended. (“badbarbie”)
|West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle|
“This was my first exposure to Tim Mooney. I thought his monologue was captivating… (Mark Mikula)
“There were the stellar bits, with Tim Mooney, phillip low, and Jesse Richards/Jena Young…” (Publius McGee)
“…However, the standout was Tim Mooney, and if you still haven't seen Fringe Orphans, you owe it to yourself to see the last performance.” (Cato Brutus)
The big, wide, Mississippi
“…My favorite was Tim Mooney's monologue "The Dog That Doesn't Bark". As if a salesman at a business conference he talks about how the political game is played through manipulation and cash. Brilliant!” (David Rust)
And yet, filed under “you can’t win ‘em all”…
“The biggest let down was “The Dog that Doesn’t Bark.” Just couldn’t completely grasp the point being made here… “The Dog that Doesn’t Bark’s” message was lost in a sea of long-winded-ness. I felt like I was in the middle of a college professors preaching rant.” (Will Taylor)
|BWJ, KG & AM|
Somewhere in there, a bunch of my old grade school friends held an impromptu reunion!
|St. James Survivors|
|Lot o' Shakespeare at Central Lakes College|
(Photos: Dwayna Paplow)
|Lot o' Shakespeare: "King John"|
Temperature: Following the hottest summer ever, with every day of the KC Fringe festival hovering near or over 100 degrees, we’re now back to highs in the comfortable mid-60s. (Pack long sleeves, Tim!)
Next performance: University of Central Oklahoma (Sept 25), Valparaiso University (Oct 1), Lewis University (Oct 9)