Review: In 'Never Let Go,' a solo performer's heart goes on

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, April 20, 2024

Review: In 'Never Let Go,' a solo performer's heart goes on
Michael Kinnan in ”Never Let Go,” his one-man stage version of “Titanic,” at The Brick Theater in Brooklyn. Kinnan’s “theatrical realization” is a feat of ingenuity that works regardless of whether you have seen the movie, Elisabeth Vincentelli writes. Walter Wlodarczyk via The New York Times.

by Elisabeth Vincentelli

NEW YORK, NY.- Michael Kinnan’s “Never Let Go” is a one-man stage version of “Titanic.” That would be enough to persuade a lot of people to head to the Brick Theater, the adventurous Brooklyn black box where the show opened this week. Just as many might shrug in reflexive disdain.

Kinnan is aware of those potential responses. The program for his show, in which he plays all the parts, claims that his “theatrical realization” of the movie was “created for lovers, fans and even skeptics.” Improbably, all three groups may well come away happy: This heart does go on, and for only an hour instead of 3 1/2.

“Never Let Go” is a feat of ingenuity that works regardless of whether you have seen the movie. It’s easy to follow the story and identify the characters, even though there is no ocean liner and only minimal costume alterations. Kinnan embodies a dashing androgyny: lipstick and fake eyelashes, a shaved head, tight black pants, a white shirt emerging from a laced corset.

And he needs just a few sound effects and props, including a stepladder and that famous necklace, to drive along the plot. One of the movie’s best scenes is the first meeting between Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack and Kate Winslet’s Rose, when he talks her out of jumping into the sea from the ship’s stern. Re-creating it, Kinnan seamlessly toggles between the two characters, and even nails the moment in which Jack catches Rose when she trips and almost falls into the ocean. As for the sex scene: This may be sacrilegious to say, but it’s better here.

While he adeptly reproduces DiCaprio’s youthful cockiness, Kinnan raises his game to another level with Winslet’s role. He captures her coquettish coyness without caricaturing it. It’s hard not to laugh in delight at his resourcefulness and skill — the commotion following the collision with the iceberg is effectively rendered, complete with a hilariously tiny splash zone — which is quite a different reaction from snickering in superiority.

Kinnan is not blind to the bombastic cheesiness of “Titanic,” yet appears to hold a genuine place in his heart for it, which gives the show winning élan, even heartfelt sincerity. By the time Rose told Jack “there’s a boat” then piteously pleaded “come back, come back,” I was so caught up in the drama that I’d forgotten the original scenes and was feeling for Kinnan’s version of the characters.

In 2009, Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper’s “Rambo Solo” turned the famous Sylvester Stallone into a one-person show that Charles Isherwood of The New York Times described as “a winking shard of low-concept theater for downtown hipsters.” This is not what Kinnan aims for, or even accidentally achieves.

What he does is explore the liminal space between tribute and affectionate satire, which is well illustrated by the way he combines a can’t-help-it fondness for Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” with a playful awareness of its schmaltz. If there is one drawback to the show, it’s that it will send you back into the night with that earworm firmly lodged in your head, all over again.

‘Never Let Go’: Through Oct. 10 at the Brick Theater, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Running time: 1 hour.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Today's News

October 2, 2021

Mateo Blanco makes film debut: "Caged Bird" opens Oct. 2 in Orlando

The Brooklyn Museum and LACMA partner to acquire 200 photographic works by European women artists

UK street artist Banksy's famous balloon girl work to go on sale

In 'Afterlives,' about looted art, why are the victims an afterthought?

Reflex Amsterdam opens an exhibition of paintings by Michael Craig-Martin

From slavery to police abuse, new museum documents US history of racism

With big, bold art, Sarah Cain redefines seriousness in painting

Over the Influence opens the second solo exhibition of Gosha Levochkin in Los Angeles

Phillips announces highlights from its 20th Century & Contemporary Art Frieze Week Auctions

Sotheby's announces West Coast expansion with Beverly Hills flagship gallery space

Edward Keating, Times photographer at ground zero, dies at 65

Casey Kaplan now representing Ella Walker

An artist's portraits, stitched together on the subway

Onstage, 'Designing Women' sheds the shoulder pads, not its politics

George Frayne, aka Commander Cody, alt-country pioneer, dies at 77

Review: In 'Never Let Go,' a solo performer's heart goes on

Exhibition at Mudam Luxembourg addresses the nature of production, consumption and wealth in the 21st century

Sotheby's opens Burning Man auction with 150+ lots

Joslyn Art Museum opens 'Faces from the Interior: The North American Portraits of Karl Bodmer'

French and Russian art on a 'War and Peace' scale

Carlisle Floyd, whose operas spun fables of the South, dies at 95

Revisiting a post-apocalyptic play in the pandemic

Fine autographs and artifacts featuring presidential memorabilia up for auction

Rare Jean-Michel Frank chandelier shines at Heritage Auctions Sept. 30 design event

How to get a Special Power of Attorney in Dubai?

Six Ways to Find the Best Judi Slot on the best casino

How to decide between online and offline courses

A reasonable bag for every type of father

Different ways to get Mods Of The Lost Triumph in Destiny 2

7 tips for playing winning poker

Why does your furnace need to be cleaned regularly?

How Art Therapy Helps People Improve Their Mental Health

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit
Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful