The Real Americans OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • SBW

  • SF WEEKLY

  • EXAMINER

  • SF GATE

Opening Night:
March 13, 2014
Closing:
April 12, 2014

Theater: Culture Project / 45 Bleecker St, New York, New York, 10002

Synopsis: 

Escaping his hipster bubble in San Francisco, Dan Hoyle spent 100 days searching to bridge the divide between the liberal, achingly hip, moral-relativism of gentrified city life and the conservative, absolutist, often aggressive populism he found in small-town America. The Real Americans tells of Hoyle’s time living out of his van and sleeping in backyards and parking lots, sharing meals and conversations with cowboys, Reaganite union coal miners in Appalachia, soldiers, rural drug dealers in the Mississippi Delta, itinerant preachers, creation theory experts in West Texas, and closeted gay fundamentalists. Hoyle sought to see the world through their eyes in search of country wisdom and a way to reconcile the divide between the Two Americas. Instead, he found himself at ground zero of our country’s growing economic inequality and increasingly polarized politics.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Real Americans

    The Superiority Complex of Just Plain Folks. ‘The Real Americans’ Is a Familiar Road Trip

    Laura Collins-Hughes

    March 19, 2014: Fueled by a hefty dose of liberal guilt and propelled by an earnest desire to understand his fellow citizens better, a young white playwright-performer leaves the comfort of his native San Francisco on a cross-country road trip. It is an entirely honorable endeavor, but The Real Americans, the solo show that Dan Hoyle has made from his journey through small towns and rural areas of the United States, traces a path too well traveled. Best known for Tings Dey Happen, based on his year as a Fulbright scholar in Nigeria, Mr. Hoyle presents us here with familiar types: in Alabama, a casually racist, self-proclaimed redneck; in Wisconsin, an alcohol-soaked football fan; in California, the playwright’s obnoxious foodie friends.

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  • SHOW BUSINESS WEEKLY REVIEW OF The Real Americans

    “The Real Americans” by Dan Hoyle

    Max McCormack

    March 18, 2014: In today’s political discourse, one must be living under a massive rock not to know how wildly diverse America has become. The far left and the far right are loud; riled up, and with today’s far-reaching digital platforms everyone has access to one another’s soapbox. Dan Hoyle takes us on an autobiographical road trip across the continental U.S. to show this diversity first hand in this riveting new one-man show. The piece begins at a casual brunch with upper-middle class friends spouting clichés about organic food and other unintelligible nonsense. Hoyle decides to discover his countrymen in the form of a road trip through the south.

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  • SF WEEKLY REVIEW OF The Real Americans

    The Real Americans: Dan Hoyle shows how the other half lives

    Chris Jensen

    February 24, 2014: "We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America." Those were among the most infamous words spoken by Sarah Palin during the 2008 election, when she was doing her damnedest to help John McCain lose his bid for the presidency. It was a desperate moment in an increasingly desperate campaign — a sound bite that probably contributed to the erosion of her popularity among independents. Of course, Palin's notion of "the real America" just happened to coincide with her narrow exposure to the American experience.

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  • EXAMINER REVIEW OF The Real Americans

    Dan Hoyle shows us The Real Americans by portraying them all

    Pamela Feinsilber

    March 19, 2014: You might call what Dan does theatrical reportage, though his work goes far beyond conveying facts and inhabiting human figures. For Tings Dey Happen (first performed in 2007), Hoyle spent 10 months in the Niger Delta, interviewing, observing, interacting with, and studying the mannerisms and dialects of a wide array of people involved in oil geopolitics: warlords, oil workers, mercenaries, businessmen, thieves, tribespeople, even the American ambassador to Niger. Then back at home, he developed (with actor and director Charlie Varon, who’s also great at this kind of solo performance) a complex, engrossing, and highly entertaining view of what he’d learned, interweaving scenes and stories, portraying each character with inspired mime and mimicry. Even more impressive, his characters often interact, as in Tings’ audacious fever dream of a conversation between Richard Pryor and Graham Greene. For The Real Americans (also developed with and directed by Charlie Varon), Hoyle left our “urban PC bubble” and traveled for almost four months through the red-state heartland.

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  • SF GATE REVIEW OF The Real Americans

    Theater review: U.S. outside 'liberal bubble'

    Robert Hurwitt

    March 19, 2014: "Imagine a society with no beer," a veteran back from Iraq tells Dan Hoyle in Wisconsin. "I'd start blowing up stuff too." A Texas Fourth of July comes with fireworks and arguments for intelligent design. A self-proclaimed redneck shares moonshine and racism in Alabama, as his wife explains that he's just parroting his culture - the way a city dweller might insist he likes foreign films. A man's boasts of sex and rock in the Haight of '69 shift into a rant about socialism. Following his long-running bicoastal hit about Nigerian oil politics, Tings Dey Happen, Hoyle has focused his form of "theater journalism" on his own country. The idea, he says, was to get outside the "latte liberal bubble," find out what people in rural America are thinking and savor some small-town cafe pie.

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