nytheatre.com review by Martin Denton
October 1, 2011
Dan Fishback's new solo performance at Dixon Place, thirtynothing, similarly suffers from a kind of schizophrenia. Starting from the fact that both the author-performer and AIDS are the same age (30 this year), the piece ratchets back and forth between earnest exploration of recent gay history (Fishback examines the careers of artists lost to AIDS such as David Feinberg and Mark Morrisroe) and amusing and/or outrageous anecdotes about his high school obsession with the musical Rent or the time he tried to remove his chest hair. I kept sensing a tension between the artist following his instincts to really delve deeply into a subject that moved him and other instincts to give his audience a grand old time.
Fishback is a terrific performer and very smart, but thirtynothing feels resolutely like a work-in-progress: the show's style shifts dramatically many times during the evening, provocative loose ends are mostly not tied up, and at the performance reviewed there were technical difficulties serious enough to delay the curtain for more than half-an-hour. For me, the moment that worked best was a reminiscence of a sexual encounter with a much younger man who, drunk or stoned or both and caught up in the moment, asked Dan to have unprotected sex with him. Without belaboring anything, Fishback contemplates all the meanings of this moment eloquently and insightfully; it was the sort of perspective on what it would be like to grow up gay in the decade after AIDS had decimated the previous generations that I'd hoped for much more of here.