Hollywood Fringe 2017
Greed, excess, and cutthroat ambition in…New Zealand?
Henry Lewis wants to be “somebody,” because after all, somebody’s got to be somebody. Ultimately, he decides the path to becoming a somebody is through becoming a master in the world of real estate development in his native New Zealand. If you thought the Reagan-era, drug-addled, wolves of Wall Street were confined only to the United States, this show is here to tell you that the same hijinks managed to find their way into countries nestled in the South Pacific.
Cameron Jones; writer, director, and solo performer, breaks more than a few sweats as Henry Lewis who intends to be a leader in the New Zealand real estate property market. Henry clings to notion that he must do something important with his life and rise above the rest, lest he be doomed to be overlooked for all eternity. We follow Henry as he climbs his way up from being a plucky upstart who can’t get a break to his inevitable turn to smarmy dishonesty to achieve his goals. Like most stories of ambition, excess and a huge downfall are soon to follow for Henry as he completes his transformation into a dominating Icarus-like businessman.
Jones employs all sorts of physical feats from jumping rope to headstands to an aggressive one-sided game of Squash to tell Henry’s tale and though it’s engaging to watch, these do leave him out of breath as he tries to move on with the show. And while some moments have a tendency to drag and slow the show’s momentum, Jones comes back to jumping rope or spinning in his chair and he’s back to his old self.
Under the guise of a motivational speaker who can show YOU how to be successful, Jones thankfully turns that whole notion upside-down, opting instead to spotlight the consequences of working your way up the corporate ladder, as well as offering a fitting tribute to those who dream and those who dare to try.
If you want to be given an inspirational pep talk from a tycoon whose hard-earned sweat completely soaks through his business suit, this is the show for you. ZACHARY BERNSTEIN