nytheatre.com review by Saviana Stanescu
August 15, 2004
Autobiographical one-person-shows are always interesting to a certain extent, as all of us have a compelling story to tell. It does require an amount of talent and wit though to make that story cross the bridge towards the audience. Writer and performer Cindy Keiter has all of that plus a humorous way of advertising herself—an imaginary interview with David Letterman in the printed program provides the necessary information about how this production of Haole (Pronounced Howl-EE) was born.
Cindy was looking for a celebrity to write about for a new one-woman-show to be performed at Manhattan Theatre Source. Through a process of elimination (the topic of celebrities’ tarnished image was not that appealing to her), she came closer to the very inner circle of one’s own “celebrities”: the family. The show ended up being about her father, the hard-working sportscaster Les Keiter.
Using only a bench placed in the center of the performing space, Cindy is “surfing” on the waves of her memories. She recounts, with humor and care, her (and her twin sister Jody’s) birth, their childhood, their relationship with their very busy father, the family’s vacations and then relocation to Hawaii, her own passion for surfing, her first marathon competition, her coming back to New York City to study drama, etc.
Director Padraic Lillis has shaped the performance in a meaningful and precise manner, allowing the actress to recreate events, places, and people and make them live in front of the audience, using a minimal set and a few well chosen props.
Keiter begins the show in the surfing position, with the line ”I’m waiting for a wave.” I don’t have the power to send her the wave she deserves, but you—yes, you, the one reading these words—her future audience, you might have some connections in the “Weather & Success” Department!