Theater and Concert Reviews.
Daniel Damiano,"American tranquility"
by ROBERT MASSIMI 5 months ago in REVIEW Plain Speaking.
"American Tranquility"Robert Massimi.
"American Tranquility" is a very resonant one man show that is separated into four subplots (or different scenes). Daniel Damiano is an award winning playwright and a real good actor as well. He has performed "American Tranquility" in New York City (at the PIT Loft, The Downtown Urban Arts Festival, the East Village Playhouse and, last summer at the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington DC.). In the past Mr. Damiano written "The Lepers";"Harmony Park;"Day of the Dog" and "Wild Boar" which was a 2019 finalist for both the Newman'Woodward and the Janet & Bruce Bunch New Play Award.
In the first scene, Stanley is an older man who needs help getting around by a cane, he shakes from old age and he has something to say, in fact, a lot to say about the current state of our Nation and its youth. With a Southern, stern voice, Stanley is bitter about life; he say's that we all became bitter which is natural as you get older. Damiano's is a pragmatist, he looks at the world as it is and not through rose colored glasses. The basic essence of this show is so practical and spot on. As a throw away society, Stanley tells us that the youth and the Government cannot wait for old people to die, that old people are a bother. Damiano compares our society to that of the Asians, who have the utmost respect for the elderly. He goes on to say that when he was a youth, the only difference between young and old were the politics and music. He then goes on to say that the difference between young and old is too vast and great and that it is concerning.
In scene two, Damiano is playing a grateful man named Achmed. Achmed is in a Time Square subway playing the bongos and giving his opinions about what it is like to be a foreigner living in America. He wants to become a citizen because he thinks America is the greatest place in the world to live. He seems disappointed that people tell him to go back to where he came from. Achmed is proud to be here and he says that everyone at some point came here from a foreign nation. "We we're all picked on as minorities at one point in our history, he brings forth. he works hard and has a good attitude, Kathy Gail MacGowan directs this scene brilliantly. Keeping Damiano upbeat throughout this scene is essential for it to work as well as it did.
Scene three was the most entertaining because Damiano hit the nail squarely as to what has happened to jobs going off-shore and that trans gender issues were more important than keeping jobs here in America. Morgan Ridge mocks "Hillary Rob Them Clinton" he calls the Democratic nominee. He goes on to talk about how dead people voted and how illegals voted as well. He goes on a tirade about the false whistleblowers in regards to the current impeachment and says that they are not even close to "deep throat" during Water Gate. The Communist Mayors and Governors also took a hit; the Hollywood phonies with their adopted kids from all over the world down to middle aged fathers moving home to live with their parent, nothing is out of bounds for this radio talk show host.
In this scene, Damiano is at full stride. From his sister becoming a man to building a wall to keep criminals out, he brings reality to how people like Madonna over react to the current president being elected. He believes we should go back to the roots of our forefathers and that we were better off then than now. Pouring his soul out, the audience get's Morgan Ridge's frustration and his determination to make people see things the way he sees them.
In his final scene, Ronnie has left the hustle and bustle of the real world to build a cabin in the woods. Fed up with Facebook and modern technology, Ronnie was most happen being a stoner back in High School and listening to rock. Unable to cope any longer, at fifty years old, he has moved away from everyone. His mother thinks that he is in a cult and his best friend now a days is a wolf in the wild. Poignant and deep at times.... his father hated life and gave up on it, his best friend committed suicide and people close to him in school moved on. In what was the best monologue of the evening with his hatred for the internet, it could not be out matched by how dire he sees the world today.
Four very different scenes; four very different characters, Daniel Damiano gives a brilliant performance. With his many accents and looks, Damiano gives that Brooklyn swag (at times he reminds me of Andrew Dice Clay with his as - a- matter- of-fact attitude. Not to be missed, "American Tranquility" is a fun show and where an hour flies by with a range of emotions to go with it.
Daniel Damiano, East Village Playhouse, one man show, Kathy Gail MacGowan.