“The Last PowerPoint” – Points to Talent

By Ernest Kearney — The CEO of disIncorporated, plunges into a room to razzle and dazzle his prospective consumers with a high powered corporate pitch to introduce his company’s newest item, destined to be what the Hula Hoop was to the fifties, what the pet rock was to the seventies, what sex was to the sixties.

But in The Last PowerPoint we don’t find ourselves in the presence of a Bill Gates or a Henry Ford.   We don’t even find ourselves in the presence of a Henry Gates or a Bill Ford; we’re stuck with Prospective Ben for whom nothing seems to go right.

A powerless PowerPoint, an unfocused focus group and a sad sack entrepreneur whose mantra is:

Work—

Death —

Corporation.

These are the primary elements in Benjamin Nicholson’s perplexing, prancing and playful solo show that swings back and forth between an episode of Pee-Wee Herman’s Clubhouse and a capitalist riff on Waiting For Godot.

There is a good deal of silliness on stage here, a bit of Andy Kaufman, a bit of Harry Langdon.   There is also a good deal of repetition.

But throughout it all, there is the sense of something beneath the surface. Nicholson’s ideas lack definition and form, but nevertheless there are ideas on the stage, and that I can tell you is a rarity.

In his first attempt at a theatrical undertaking, Nicholson shows himself a talent on the threshold. His writing is witty, his timing sharp, his performance solid; all of which makes The Last PowerPoint both intriguing and Silver Medal (via The TVolution)amusing. Yes, Nicholson’s show is not quite there, but there is undeniably a “there” there.

For that—

A SILVER MEDAL.


 

For Updated Show Information:  http://hff19.org/6007

For Events, Plays and Other Fun Fringe News and Info: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/


 

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. After a wild and misspent youth, which lasted well into middle age, Kearney has settled down and is focusing on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. Ernest’s stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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