THE LIFE HENRI.xlsx
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REVIEWS
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THE LIFE HENRI
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STILL YOUR FRIEND
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August 4 - If you love learning about quirky historical figures in a fun and engaging way, you should definitely see this show. If you have a little bit of art history knowledge, I think your experience will be enhanced, but it is by no means necessary. The story was compelling and the storytelling was clever and witty. Deserée W.
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Sunday, August 5 - Life of Henri was an incredible true story about a man who struggled to come from abject poverty to achieve his dream of becoming a respected painter. Adam Bailey is so warm, charming and welcoming! It was a pleasure to attend this play. Very engaging and inspiring! So glad we discovered this treasure! Heather Lau
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Adam Bailey has found a treasure trove of irony and cognitive clashes in the story of French painter Henri Rousseau and his outside-the-box life and artistic reputation. His research is accurate in the same way that Anna Russell’s is for music. The delight and the comedy of his revelations lie in the droll way he aligns the facts. He could easily add Russell’s famous line to his lecture: “I’m not making this up, you know!” Bailey goes even further in exploiting outrageous contemporary references to make sure his public gets the significance of historical labels and reactions. He starts out and later returns to a particular resonance in his material to the key scene in Stephen King’s Carrie (the book, the film and the musical) that has zeitgeist for him as the constant victim of bullying at school. Not to worry, he never loses touch with the serious material at his fingertips: the politics of the Salon des Indépendants, Rousseau’s friendship with that enfant-terrible Alfred Jarry, and Picasso’s famous Banquet Rousseau, an ambiguous homage if ever there was one. Yes, it’s all there. But the key to the appeal of this show is Adam Bailey’s stamina and style. With unadulterated relish and exuberance, he flaps about the stage from computer to illustrative slide screen and back and forth into the audience making his points super clear in possibly the loudest and most energetic art lecture you are ever likely to encounter. I MEAN THE MAN TALKS almost IN ALL CAPS. In fact what we have here is a Canadian Jack McFarland (from Will & Grace) making sure we appreciate each supreme irony in poor Henri’s life. How could we not, listening to Bailey’s wildly gestured slabs of emphasis and carefully overarticulated syllables slowed to class dictation pace? For good measure, he draws attention to a host of parallels in our very current lives (“I mean the Merkin Sisters are playing at this festival!”) and he even throws Canadian-style mangled French into the mix. He might occasionally want to try an undercut aside to surprise us and vary the tone so we are not totally worn down. Incredibly he himself shows no sign of fatigue when he takes his final bow. I came out of this performance thinking Art with a capital A needs a good lecture like this every once in a while to shake us up a bit and smell the café au lait.
Ian C. Nelson
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wedAdam Bailey has found a treasure trove of irony and cognitive clashes in the story of French painter Henri Rousseau and his outside-the-box life and artistic reputation. His research is accurate in the same way that Anna Russell’s is for music. The delight and the comedy of his revelations lie in the droll way he aligns the facts. He could easily add Russell’s famous line to his lecture: “I’m not making this up, you know!” Bailey goes even further in exploiting outrageous contemporary references to make sure his public gets the significance of historical labels and reactions. He starts out and later returns to a particular resonance in his material to the key scene in Stephen King’s Carrie (the book, the film and the musical) that has zeitgeist for him as the constant victim of bullying at school. Not to worry, he never loses touch with the serious material at his fingertips: the politics of the Salon des Indépendants, Rousseau’s friendship with that enfant-terrible Alfred Jarry, and Picasso’s famous Banquet Rousseau, an ambiguous homage if ever there was one. Yes, it’s all there. But the key to the appeal of this show is Adam Bailey’s stamina and style. With unadulterated relish and exuberance, he flaps about the stage from computer to illustrative slide screen and back and forth into the audience making his points super clear in possibly the loudest and most energetic art lecture you are ever likely to encounter. I MEAN THE MAN TALKS almost IN ALL CAPS. In fact what we have here is a Canadian Jack McFarland (from Will & Grace) making sure we appreciate each supreme irony in poor Henri’s life. How could we not, listening to Bailey’s wildly gestured slabs of emphasis and carefully overarticulated syllables slowed to class dictation pace? For good measure, he draws attention to a host of parallels in our very current lives (“I mean the Merkin Sisters are playing at this festival!”) and he even throws Canadian-style mangled French into the mix. He might occasionally want to try an undercut aside to surprise us and vary the tone so we are not totally worn down. Incredibly he himself shows no sign of fatigue when he takes his final bow. I came out of this performance thinking Art with a capital A needs a good lecture like this every once in a while to shake us up a bit and smell the café au lait.
Ian C. Nelson
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Aug 4 - This actor should get an Oscar! Charming play about an Artist that sadly only received better reviews after he died. This play made me want to go take out a Library book and learn much more about this astonishing man's life! Victor Lau
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