Monday, January 16, 2012

Darrell Dennis - Tales of an Urban Indian

Gramma Susie was broad humor with a bite.  In the Gramma Susie costume, Sharon Shorty could play the classic role of the king's fool and say things that normally wouldn't be tolerated.

Darrell Dennis' humor was there to cover the pain.  First the universal pains of growing up and becoming a man.  Second, the additional pain of growing up as a member of an outsider group - in this case as a North American Indian.  Darrell's a charming, good looking man whose very presence on stage is in sharp contrast to the gritty story he tells of alcohol, sex, and drugs.  The stories he tells are powerful and his performance magnifies their power.  And the humor makes it possible to stay and listen. 

I'm really glad friends got us out to see these two pieces at the Alaska Native Heritage Center Saturday night.  I've already posted about Shorty.  Now I offer you a short video to give you a sense of Darrell's performance.  And yes, I did get his permission to post this too, though I did say it would be maybe 30 seconds, and it came out to 2 minutes. 

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