Theatre Review: The Feldman Dynamic 10th Anniversary
It’s been almost six years since I first wrote about Brian Feldman, and two since Orlando most undeniably unique performance artist departed for Washington D.C., but his one-show-only return on Wednesday night (Jan. 21, 2014) reminded me how much I’ve missed his brand of bizarre. The Feldman Dynamic 10th Anniversary reunited the cast of his original “reality theatre” project — a.k.a. Brian’s real-life mother (Marilyn Wattman-Feldman), father (Edward Feldman), and sister (Adrienne McIntosh) — on the Maitland Jewish Community Center’s stage to share a vegan mean, kibbitz and bicker a bit, and…not much else.
The evening started strong with a pre-recorded preshow announcement by Terry Olson that devolved into a hilarious rant invoking Charls Dickens, Google Glass, and Disney stealing Epcot’s entertainment from SAK. Over the next hour, the quartet quibbled over the culinary merits of vegan “shrimp” and samosas (“they’re like an Indian knish,” explained Brian to his mom); eye care insurance plans (“Did you read the fine print?” “I tried!”); and the 150 movies Brian saw last year.
More so than previous editions of The Feldman Dynamic, this dinner had some dynamite plot twists. Adrienne announced that she’s been transfered to a new job with Disney’s FastPass+, which she doesn’t understand (“So Disney’s slogan is ‘work will make you free’ now?”). And Brian revealed that he was fired from his campus security job for sleeping in the “new mothers breast expressing lounge”. But even those bombshells were soon swept aside in favor of regifted dog toys and cashew-based ice cream.
As always, it’s impossible to evaluate a Feldman performance like ordinary theater, but it does deserve documenting (not coincidentally, a full quarter of the attendees were there to write, shoot, or sketch the show). Much like life, The Feldman Dynamic starts slow, in unevenly paced and filled with awkward pauses, and has an abrupt, unsatifying ending. But also like life, there are some brilliant bits along the way that make you laugh until you cry, and vice versa. And you don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone.