Here Lies Henry is daringly strange | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

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Here Lies Henry is daringly strange

Interrobang revives Daniel MacIvor's mind-bending solo about the art of lying.


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UPDATE Saturday, March 14: this event has been canceled. Refunds available at point of purchase.

Interrobang Theatre Project presents a revival of Daniel MacIvor's daringly strange one-person show, Here Lies Henry, starring Scott Sawa in the title role, directed by Elana Elyce. Suspenders, jitters, throwback mustache and all, Sawa delivers a bravura performance as either the worst inspirational comic of all time; a soul in purgatory who keeps blurting out unsavory disclosures involving past awkwardness and possible murder; a pathological liar; or some fiercely winning jumble of all three. You have to hand it to Henry. To be sure, his impromptu eight-part treatise on the art of lying is cogent. His dance rendition of Britney Spears's "Toxic" is graceful. His affection towards the "mother" (a word he can't pronounce without giggling uncontrollably) strikes us as genuine. But he's for sure not well. This becomes all too apparent, if it wasn't already, by the fourth or fifth time he screams out, leering with his entire face, "This is fun!" What is? Talking into the void? Brazen negative pathos? Acting itself?

As with many solo pieces, the destabilizing effects of solitude are front and center here. It's hard to believe in story or dramatic tension when you're the only person in the universe. Luckily, there is such a thing as putting on a show. By the 75th straight minute of staring into Sawa's unbelievably expressive face, you realize what this play is truly about. Henry, a huckster without wares, dead or alive, phantom or flesh, is an actor. His mouth and body are doing their own thing. We watch, weirded out with joy.  v

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