Memory, Served

We won’t soon forget Malcolm Grissom. We saw him recently at a Sunday morning audition that was just barely even official. We were there supporting a friend, and we weren’t expecting anything from anyone. Then Grissom gave us a hometown tale worthy of Garrison Keillor — with Bobcat Goldthwaite intensity. He confessed that his mother, still living in his hometown of Honokaa, Hawaii, is more than a little prejudiced toward white people. “If she cooks meatloaf and it’s too dry, she blames whitey. ‘THAT OVEN WAS DESIGNED BY A WHITE MAN!’” he shouted, eyes wide, pointing toward the imaginary appliance. He definitely woke up the sleepy audience. Today he tells you more about his life story in Differently-ABLED at the SF Fringe Festival, which is all about surprises. The festival’s 44 plays were chosen by lottery rather than jury, so there’s a chance you’ll see some less-than-stellar performances. But there’s just as good a chance you’ll see something you’ll never forget. Take Hitler’s Li’l Abomination by Annette Roman. “Her father is a Jewish Holocaust survivor. Her mother was in the Hitler Youth. What the devil is she?!” It’s based on Roman’s own story. To borrow (and slightly bend) Grissom’s words, a good performer is not only someone who is funny, but someone who is memorable. Remember that. We sure will.
Sept. 7-18, 2011

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