Don Reed's East 14th: Tales of a Reluctant Player
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The last date listed for Don Reed's East 14th: Tales of a Reluctant Player was Sunday August 7, 2011 / 7:00pm.
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This one-man show from Don Reed is a prequel to the actor-playwright-comedian's hilarious coming-of-age story East 14th, one of the longest-running solo shows in the Bay Area. In Can You Dig It? The '60s Back Down East 14th, Reed recounts his humble beginnings on East 14th Street just before his father headed off for the hustler's life in Oakland. From the Beatles to the Black Panthers, MLK to JFK to the KKK, Reed explores the 1960s through the eyes of an awkward kid who's just trying to fit in. A San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Nominee and NAACP double nominee for Best Actor and Best Playwright, Don Reed has performed, written and directed for film, television and theater, and is currently the warm-up comic for The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Ulysses Dalton
view more less of this review
Don Reed slams fun into dysfunctional! His cast of characters portray in hilarious comedic style a puberty of unbelievable proportions.
At no time were we bored, the transitions from scene to scene left you in stitches. You may have to return a few times, because I'm sure you'll miss something in between fits of uncontrolled laughter.
It is rare to fill a room to capacity and everyone leaving with a smile on their face. It was funny to hear snips of the songs from the show being sung in the car on the way home.
Thanks Don! For 100 minutes, I could forget about my troubles, the economy, politics and everything else and just laugh. Belly rolling, gut shaking, tear producing laughter. It felt so good! I needed, and so does everyone else.
Quotes & Highlights
- East 14th comes to Berkeley following a long run at the Marsh San Francisco, where it won Goldstar's Roar of the Crowd award.
The Marsh, a breeding ground for new performance, is pleased to present Don Reed’s East 14th: Tales of a Reluctant Player. In the spirit of John Leguizamo’s “Freak.” Sarah Jones “Bridge And Tunnel” and Whoopi Goldberg’s “Whoopi,” comes this hilarious solo show chronicling the true tale of a young man raised by his mother and ultra-strict step-father as a middle class, straight A, God-fearing church boy. The boy, however, wanted to be just like his dear old Dad. Too bad he didn’t know dear old Dad was a pimp. Very funny, definitely poignant – a ride down a street you won’t soon forget.
The play is set in Oakland, CA in the 1970's. Reed’s father was super talented, cool as hell and very funny. He would say the most outrageous stuff, whether it was sexually charged or just a good old fashioned diss. He played the congos and was offered to travel with well-known bands. But he had never learned to read and felt he might be required to interpret a hotel bill or something – thus risking his “cool.” So he let his dream pass. And for a while – got caught up in “The Life.”
He had three sons. Darrell was really focused on digging women. He LOVED women. ALL of them, and he became a beautician – a very good one - so he could be around them all the time. “You know somethin’ - every guy doin’ hair in that shop is gay” he used to say. Then he smiled like a wolf in a hen house and said, “But, I’m not.” Although a womanizer, he was deeply generous. Darrell would literally give anyone in need his very last dollar. His other brother, Tony, was a study in effeminate elegance and assassin level self-defense. Tony could whoop ANYBODY in the neighborhood and accordingly stomped the stereotype of “the weak gay man” to bits.
Reed himself was called Blinky because he had the habit of blinking his eyes. He remembers doing it on the bus ride all the way over to visit his father on Sundays. Sometimes his father wouldn’t be there – but he’d leave the door unlocked and Reed would get one of Darrell’s jackets out of the closet. Then he’d walk to the corner store, get a pint of Carnation Strawberry Ice Cream and coolly walk “The Stroll,” pretending to be older. And the street walkers would ask, “Why you blinkin’ like that?” then interject —“Wanna date baby?” And he’d say, after taking a spoonful of the delicious strawberry magic: “I could buy some if I wanted to – but I don’t want to.”
East 14th: Tales of a Reluctant Player ran the entire summer of 2008 off-Broadway in New York City. It was a double nominee - Best Actor and Best Playwright — for the 2008 NAACP Theatre Awards — as well as a nominee for 2008 Best Solo Performance for the Audelco "Viv" Awards.