San Francisco Fringe 2018
“It all started with a red speedo, nude modeling , and a cat named Ralph.” And did I mention a frog in a Tu Tu , a naked Jesus, and divine prophesy of a 90 year old woman! This story takes you into the world of Bay Area artists – time – and mortality. “
“Oh what a beautiful morning” sings Ron Jones at the beginning of his story – at first it’s about Helen, a great friend of his, they are linked through water exercises, song and art. Jones is an avuncular performer with a face that can change into many characters, including Helen, who is a sassy lady with quite a personality! For instance Helen loves water ballet while singing.
Jones tells us everything we need to know about his time being a male model in his fast paced performance style, punctuated by Helen’s exclamations and questions. Actually Jones shares the facts and a few secrets about being a nude male model, in a variety of fascinating situations. For example, Helen asked him to model in her art studio, and Jones changes his physicality and voice to enact Helen giving him directions. Helen has an unmissable crackly grande dame voice and she shrieks orders to Jones.
Jones wrote the solo storytelling show and performs it with narration, characterizations, physical gestures, imagery through descriptive language, humor from florid phrases, well timed delivery – and charm. For example, he prepares for a modeling session by deftly miming undressing, carefully folding his jeans, while sharing his innermost fears about what is to come. We also learn a little about art, and there’s a ruler and Ralph the cat!
Jones is warm and kind when telling us about Helen even though they have conflicting views at times, which makes it interesting. His non verbal reactions when Jones plays Helen are very effective and could appear more in the first half of the story.
Jones continues sharing more fascinating adventures – modeling for other people – and his smooth storytelling takes a detour from Helen for a while. This section takes on more depth and specificity and is rich and impactful, in a quiet way.
Jones talks about a plethora of topics, such as “outsider artists” and art, more new modeling jobs and becomes philosophical as his story comes full circle. San Francisco is the setting of the story and is nicely infused with various references of names and places in the city.
In all this is an interesting and well performed story. Recommended!