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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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The Art of Storytelling
Saturday, April 23, 2005
This past Thursday night I went into the city to see my boy Dyalekt’s one man Hip-Hop theater show, Square Peg Syndrome. Square Peg Syndrome is a show for anyone who’s ever heard the words "You Can’t," be it from an outside doubter or one’s own mind, and illustrates the power of fighting those voices. The story revolves around Dyalekt, who describes himself in the show as "half Fred Sanford / half Dukes of Hazzard," trying to fight his inner demons that are constantly telling him he’s not good enough in some way shape or form and to avoid, rather than embrace, his individuality. His inner demons are shown in the form of pre-filmed clips of Dyalekt’s face projected onto a huge screen at the back of the stage that berate him throughout the show. The size of the projection is an interesting way of showing how big one’s inner demons can become.

The message of Square Peg Syndrome is voiced in the form of nine original rap songs written and performed by Dyalekt. Each song is, in essence, another scene in the play, and the intensity with which Dyalekt delivers each song grows as the show goes on. The screen was utilized throughout the show to flash numerous images of people, places and things related to the concept of each song being performed, one of the highlights of this marriage being "Shadowboxing With Doubt," which is a telling of Dyalekt’s confidence and doubt fighting for control of him, all the while scenes from the NES classic Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! are being shown on the projector screen.

If you’ve never seen Dyalekt perform before it should be noted that he has some very strong educated opinions on a lot of topics and isn’t afraid to voice them. At the same time he also injects enough humor into each song so as not to make anyone feel lectured at or preached to. So while in one song he’ll interpolate Edwin Starr’s classic song "War" saying "Words/ Huh/ Good God/ What are they good for?/ Absolutely Nothin’/ ‘Cuz you can get shot for sayin’ somethin," he’ll also have a song where he chants "Procrastinators of the world WAIT!" (I actually laughed out loud when he said that)

Near the end of the show Dyalekt asks the audience for anything from their bags and freestyles about the first three things handed to him. This was a definite highlight of the show because Dyalekt got to show he can freestyle as well as write.

Overall it was a great show and a very interesting experience. It seemed a bit awkward at first, being in an audience, seeing an MC perform, and not clapping or shouting after every song. I guess that’s the theater aspect of it, which is probably why Dyalekt chose to have some audience involvement near the end with his freestyle section of the show. This may be theater, but he’s still and MC first and no one thrives more on crowd reaction and participation than an MC. Once the adjustment was made as an audience member, though, it all ended up working very well. Square Peg Syndrome is a great show and is highly recommended, but you don’t have to take my word for it, just ask the people who approached Dyalekt for his autograph after the show.

The second show of the night was by Angela Kariotis and though I don’t have nearly as many notes on that performance I feel the need to add that she was equally off the hook. Her show hit especially close to home being that she’s a white person around my age that’s also into Hip-Hop and her show includes a telling of what that brought about while growing up.

There will be two more performances of these shows on Tuesday the 26th and Wednesday the 27th at the Phil Bosakowski Theater, which is located at 354 W. 54th Street between 8th and 9th Ave. It’s $20 each night (both shows included) and showtime is at 8PM.

Fantasy Update: Gotta love a three win night! Hampton, Marquis and Halsey all notched wins for me last night and for the first time in forever they also struck some people out! Brad Penny is due back tomorrow, but I’m hesitant to start him in Colorado. He’s been looking so good in his rehab starts, however, I may just have to start him and wince at the prospect of the thin air having a negative effect on things. Hopefully he’ll be great as I know first hand that a great pitcher can easily overcome pitching in Colorado. Heck, I was there when Tom Glavine threw a shut out (he also drove in a run, as well).

Now, consistent readers may remember I said before the season started that I knew I was going to get some bad trade offers. The king of all wack trade offers came in yesterday when someone actually tried to entice me into a deal by throwing in Nomar Garciaparra who everyone knows is out for three months. With Nomar essentially a non-factor in the deal it looked even worse. The day I give up Derrick Lee for a Jason Isringhausen straight up is the day I get myself one of those jackets that makes me hug myself.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 2:16 PM  
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