Chicago Theatre Review
I Could Write a Book
Dylan Brody’s Driving Hollywood
The creator and performer of this one-man show is actor, comedian and humorist, Dylan Brody. In 90 minutes this erudite writer, in a show directed by Nancy Carlin, examines everything that has contributed to making him tick. It all stems from a disappointing meeting he takes with a possible book publisher in Hollywood, resulting in the need for validation, both for his parking and his integrity.
Brody skewers a number of remembered moments arbitrarily selected from his past. Usually winding up sitting in the principal’s office, Brody relates several school year incidents that focus on his upbringing and eduction in Schuylerville, New York. In these scenes, the precocious child of a Skidmore College professor takes aim at the narrow-minded alma mater that stifled his giftedness. He recalls being far above his instructors in both intelligence and creativity. As a young sixth-grade theatrical director of a production of “The Royal Hunt of the Sun,” he learns that the show has been cancelled due to his budgetary demands and a desire to stage the play with imagination.
In his “nested flashbacks,” the humorist pokes fun at a California neighbor whose obsession with keeping his lawn pristine provides some awkward confrontations, whenever Brody walks his dogs. Dylan continues his California suite of stories, poking fun at the many disappointments at being a comedian and a comic writer in Los Angeles. This witty creator of six comedy albums, four humorous books and a vast variety of live standup comic routines, Brody has rubbed shoulders with some of the best in the industry, including Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Belzer and Robin Williams. He’s opened for satirical writer David Sedaris during his live concerts. Brody has appeared on A&E’s “Comedy on the Road,” Fox TV’s “Comedy Express and many other television shows. He’s also taught, mentored and been the headliner at a number of storytelling conferences, a talent theatergoers will observe for themselves in this production.
But the strength of this very entertaining and thought-provoking one-man show is Brody’s honest, self-deprecating humor. His earnest style and his advice to his audience is solid and rewarding. He reminds us that the biggest part of any career, be it in show business or as a chauffeur, is to continually be proving things you don’t truly believe to people you don’t respect. Filled with years of the author/performer’s accounts of successes and setbacks, Dylan Brody takes audiences on a stimulating journey of what can happen to someone who thinks, “Hey! I could write a book!”
Reviewed by Colin Douglas
Presented May 3-20 by Blue Panther Productions at the Apollo Theatre (studio space), 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago.
Tickets are available by calling the box office at 773-935-6100, at TicketMaster or by going to www.dylanbrodysdrivinghollywood.com.
Additional information about this and other area productions can be found by visiting www.theatreinchicago.com.