The Streaming Experience: IAMA’s “The Latrell Show”
First off, “people are trying me“, the lead character states. So why don’t we all start by taking a deep breath before diving headfirst into the epically intense IAMA Theatre Company‘s virtual premier of “The Latrell Show”. It’s quite needed, as the magnificently defiant one-person show is not what it first appears to be. But somewhere in that ferocious light, a relationship with hope and outrage is so solidly laid out and formulated that it can’t be denied. Written and performed with expertise by Brandon Kyle Goodman (2020’s “Feel the Beat“), the “live from NYC” head-trip is a hot-topic fearless journey into the tense matters of the world, exploring, with humor and rage, the mental aerobics of being Black and Queer in America. It starts out mischievously with Goodman being “here, my love, yes, ok?” But “never fear” “my love“, this conjuring of a inner-mind monologue finds the extraordinary sweet juice in the eternal need for escape. It forges forward with such a profound bravery into this dynamic complicated world of America with such strength and determination that it, and he, will leave you panting and forever changed.
Filmed on stage at the Pico Playhouse, this very smart, dark comedy, through sideways interference from the opinionated talk show host, Latrell Jackson, unpacks fire in the hundreds of metaphors that exist within, hitting those topics hard, one after the other at each turn of the dial. I might just be that liberal Steve he refers to, unknowingly, but as co-directed with clever engagement by Stefanie Black and Devere Rogers, it’s utterly shocking just how much each clarifying question about the “seeds, seeds, seeds” hits their mark with a jolting explosion of insight and power. This “very special” episode, giving hot takes on his favorite hot topics, demands uninterrupted focus, in a way that is increasingly hard these days of streaming one one-person monologue shows after the other, but within “The Latrell Show”, Goodman makes it impossible to look away. An impressive fact that exists all because the truth that is being spilled out is literally beyond epic and intense. It is profound, meaningful, and daringly strong hitting us hard in the smartest of possible ways.
Goodman’s writing and performance is beyond, finding a fierce knowledge in the slow stripped away glamour and sparkle that emerges like a spiritual emotional revelation. I don’t want to up end the internal programming, but I never saw it coming. When the rage and confusion finally hits, this streamed show blossoms into something unstoppable,. Daring you to look away, the historic rage that is carried around almost all the time within wraps and twists itself inside all of his wise words with a wisdom that is almost deafening. Goodman unleashes a litany of impossibly sharp ideas with such skill that it is awe-inspiring and sharply breathtaking for the fact that one writer could nail all these ideals with such one-after-the-other precision. It’s an earth-shattering three point perspective that never stops evolving. So take that much needed deep breath and dive into the impossibly smart IAMA’s “The Latrell Show.” You’ll be glad you did, but do get ready to have the wind knocked out of you by the brilliance and power of Brandon Kyle Goodman. There’s no way around that fact.
Streams on demand May 23 through June 20.