Though Russell boasts a long and thriving relationship with solo performance, he confesses an ambivalence toward the form. “I always try to avoid one-person shows,” he says—he’s surprised and “kind of embarrassed” to discover just how many he’s programmed in this year’s festival. Yet he has ensured plenty of variety within the genre: Little commonality exists between Gare St. Lazare’s adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s First Love; Bamuthi Joseph’s dance-driven monologue; Lee Breuer’s puppet plays Summa Dramatica and Porco Morto; Dargel’s ballads concerning elective amputation; Jim Fletcher’s performance of Tim Etchell’s orgy of declarative sentences, Sight Is the Sense That Dying People Tend to Lose First; and Lemon Andersen’s confessional County of Kings: The Beautiful Struggle, in which he invites audiences to “watch me deal with ridicule and shame . . . by turning myself into the king of poetry spit fame.”
I will be on hand pretty much every night of the festival, making sure the LuEsther Lounge (aka the afterparty–aka the FREE afterparty) runs smoothly.
You should come. Tickets to each show at The Public are $15, which is ridiculous and unheard of for the quality you’re going to get. The shows are crazy, inventive, beautiful, everything. I’m not selling this to you — just come see it.