Saturday, March 20, 2010

Flying with Color - Solo Performance Festival / Best in Shorts

Solo Performance Festival

Best in Shorts performed 3/23/2010

It starts with the sound of a car – maybe a bus – whizzing by. Then the sound of a chicken chatting away takes over… We are in the dark. More sounds of what seems like a quiet, rural town stream in and now we just need to figure out where exactly we are in the world. Finally, a little boy calling for his “Papa” begins to sing a song, and the lights eventually come up on Ben Gonio, who begins to tell the story of a man’s journey to America from The Philippines.

Flying with Color, written by Ben Gonio, at first seems like just another story of a man’s immigration from a third world country to the “land of opportunity”. You expect to hear about his struggle; his discoveries; maybe the sacrifice he makes going away from the love of his life. But it’s more than that, and yet so very simple. Flying with Color is ultimately about the never-ending relationship between a boy and his Father. And without giving away its poignant ending, we are able to appreciate this immigrant story we may have all heard before from all the Kitchen God’s Wives and Hannah is my Names through a window: the bond a boy made with his Father, even after two years of separation…oh - and a hat. (You just have to go see the play.) [editor's note: since the play has concluded its short run, you can find more info about Gonio and his productions at]

Aside from some minor sound level issues that may have drowned out some of the dialogue if it wasn’t for Gonio’s projection adjustment, this show was well produced, theatrical, and very touching. His ability to seamlessly go back and forth from the charming, “machismo”, but later somewhat frail character of his Father to the sweet, challenged, and feminine character of his Mother is what tops this actor’s performance in this year’s Best in Shorts. Gonio somehow, with his wonderful story-telling, improvisational, and multimedia skills takes us on an emotional journey from the Philippines to America, from fear to triumph, and from loss to legend, in just fifteen minutes.

Guest Review!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gonio is actually doing one more performance of Flying with Color at the 3/23 performance of Best in Shorts, same place, Theatre Off Jackson. So you actually have a chance to see if it you haven't yet! I agree - this short was awesome. :)