Knott My Best Moments
nytheatre.com review by Ivanna Cullinan
September 15, 2006
What are your best moments? And what is meant by that phrase anyway? Is a best moment so described because it is the moment that felt best, or showed the best in a person, or is it when the person was most true to self? Knott...My Best Moments does not restrict itself to any one of these elements; much more interestingly it attempts all of them with guts and humor. The show is very funny but also provocative and unsettling at moments. This is not a family clown show, it is a wonderful show for mature audiences.
In the beginning there is the empty stage. It has a rope clothesline with muscle t-shirts (but doll-sized), and showgirl gear hanging from it. Alongside is a ladder—with a grapefruit tied on top? Out rolls Knott in slip and winter cap, and things continue to skew in an intriguing manner in this marvelous and intense piece by Erin Bouvy and directed by Sue Morrison. Knott, Bouvy's clown, is capricious and compulsive. She seems drawn to one thing, veers off to something else, and then the forgotten moment reappears and is completed. The show has a narrative wholeness without a linear approach, feeling more like a collage of memory and impulses. It plays much like an impressionist biography. Certain sequences are simple though powerful, like the phone call from her mother, which is received via a string off the clothesline. Other moments begin simply but spiral into different directions than expected. Knott dresses up with pieces off the clothesline and what starts with a straightforwardly sexy movement becomes a strongly physical celebration and challenge to the audience that is somehow not erotic but wonderful still. Throughout she has a strong connection to the audience, engaging us with thoughts, stories, and challenges. It is an exceptionally interesting show.
However, be warned that latecomers and other "rule-breakers"—of whom there seemed to be an inordinate amount at the performance reviewed—are soundly punished by Knott. There was the individual who decided using a mobile phone camera during a performance was somehow appropriate. It's not. Then there were the seven latecomers, the worst of whom chose to walk through the entire audience for a seat in the back rather than take the first available. He also forgot to turn his phone off and it rang. Knott confiscated it, taking it backstage to "destroy" it—would that she had thrown it outside into the traffic on Metropolitan Avenue because it rang again. This time she answered it and clarified to the caller that the phone's owner was actually in the middle of a show (yes, he was that late). Despite all of the unfortunate interruptions, Bouvy remained connected and gave a wonderful performance.