Armed with two caps, a chair, a hand towel and a multitude of facial expressions and accents, actor-playwright Dan Hoyle gave Calcutta a 45-minute sneak peek into life outside “latte liberal land” — the urban elitist bubble that is commonly considered America — at The Park on Friday evening.
Presented by the US consulate to mark World Press Freedom Day (May 3), Dan’s critically acclaimed solo show The Real Americans was a hilarious yet pointed depiction of “Dan from San Fran’s” encounters with different classes of Americans, as he goes on a road trip through Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin and Michigan. From hardcore Christian fundamentalists and jaded war veterans to “emo-elites”, urban hipsters and even an alcohol-induced, imaginary Barrack Obama — Dan meets them all as he tries to find out who the real American is and, in the process, celebrates the melting pot that is America.
Donning and doffing about 15 characters at breakneck speed, Dan’s impersonations and mimicry skills ensured that the audience swung between belly laughs and poignant silence. The one-man show was followed by a Q&A between Dan and the audience, moderated by Jeffrey Reneau, the director of American Center.