“Keith Moon, Real Me” at the Hudson — The Uneven Life of a Genius Drummer

By Ernest Kearney  —  Keith Moon makes a prime subject for a one-man show.

The legendary drummer for the band The Who inspired the world of rock and rock with, both, his mad performances and his notoriously self-destructive behavior; on and off the stage.   Numerous drum kits would fall victim to Moon’s madness as well as hotel rooms (his antics lead to The Who being banned from all Holiday Inns), toilets (its estimated his love of blowing up club and hotel toilets cost the group $500,000), friend’s apartments and, sadly, friends themselves.

For all that, Moon was an amazing drummer, voted by a Rolling Stone reader’s poll the second greatest of all time, behind John Bonham of Led Zeppelin.

In Keith Moon the Real Me, writer and performer Mick Berry certainly does look the part, bearing more than a passing resemblance to the drummer who died of an over-dose in 1978 at the of 32.  This resemblance continues when Berry, who is a drummer of talent, sits behind the drum set capturing the facial eccentricity that marked Moon’s performances.

It is when Berry steps in front of the drums that the show begins to flag. Then his grip on the character submerges into a bio-piece, in which the recounting of Moon becomes his subject rather than continuing as his persona.

Moon was a tragic character, a musical incarnation of Larry Talbot whose every night boasted a full moon.  But in Berry’s performance the tragedy and pain of the man is only relayed and not relived.

Directed by Nancy Carlin with Frank Simes as Musical Director and who has worked with The Who in the same capacity, Keith Moon the Real Me should appeal to fans of Rock and Roll and of Moon himself.

But I doubt the show will inspire Moon any new ones.

♦     ♦     ♦


Keith Moon, the Real Me
The Story of the Legendary Drummer for The Who

on stage now until April 15


The Hudson Theatre Mainstage

Written and Performed by Mick Berry

Songs by Pete Townshend

Music Direction by Frank Simes

Directed by Nancy Carlin

MARCH 23–APRIL 15, 2018

Friday & Saturday at 8pm

Sunday at 3pm


6539 Santa Monica Blvd.

(on Theatre Row)

Hollywood 90038

(Photos of Mick Berry as Keith Moon courtesy of Ken Werther Publicity)

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Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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