Sunday, June 23, 2013


Subtitled "A One Man Comi-Tragedy" LAST OF THE KNOTTS is old friend, poet Doug Knott's one man show about a few important elements of his personality, life choices and perspective. I won't give it away except to say it focuses on his relationship with his parents as a boy and how that influenced one of the most important decisions of his adult life, one I suspect few of his fellow adults ever struggled with so honestly.

It has moments of such clearheaded self awareness that they startle. I knew Doug in L.A. where he was a poet who ran poetry venues and had a local cable show where he interviewed poets, and was part of a crew of L.A. poets who performed and traveled as the Carma Bums. I always liked and appreciated his enthusiasm and his honesty. A no b.s. kind of guy, which means my kind of fellow human.

I love people's stories, whether shared on train rides or airplane trips or in bars or in bed or in barracks or at a lectern or on stage. Everyone's story, I find, always has an unexpected twist that makes it surprising and engaging, and even often enlightening. I always believed this, and so did others, but until recently that really wasn't the accepted wisdom. Stories of the rich and famous, or assumed historically important, were considered more relevant and necessary to know about.

Knott's one man show not only captures much that's unique about the man, but the revelations are not the usual ones that garner attention in memoirs and one person shows these days, because they are so common and yet rarely spoken of so honestly. In fact, the dilemma at the heart of this show I've never seen addressed this directly, and accessibly and starkly. There's a stripped down kind of poetry to the language and the rhythms of the narrative that anchors the story, and even in Knott's ability to express the personality of the various people from his life that speak through him in the show, and originality as well.

If this comes anywhere near where you are, it's definitely worth seeing.

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