Do You Fear What I Fear?
a kate west review
written and performed by David Jahn
directed by Ian and Robert Tucker
at the Elephant Asylum Theatre
6322 Santa Monica Blvd. L.A. 90038
running Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays;
January 6 – February 12, 2006
contact (323) 960-4412 or www.plays411.com/fear; tix $18
David Jahn, alum of the famous Groundling troupe (www.groundlings.com), pulls off the amazing feat of gaining the audience’s sympathy even as they feel slightly uncomfortable in his riveting one-man show “Do You Fear What I Fear?” Originally premiering at the Groundlings Theatre, as part of a 30th anniversary celebration, the show now performs at the Elephant Asylum, not too far from its first location.
As in similar shows, Jahn bears his soul, confronting childhood fears while entertaining us at the same time. And he does such a marvelous job at it too. We watch him cope with his angst in many engaging ways: by always counting in “fours” as a child (which he constantly refers to throughout the show), by burying himself inside a prison of fear, escaping into the world of theater and finally learning how to be an adult in Los Angeles and in life.
During all this insight, Jahn is accompanied on keyboard piano as he bursts into song and dance at key points in the story. This contributes wonderfully to his character since his background actually is musical theater, another aspect he refers to in comic detail. Musical Director Cindy Warren sets this all up very well.
In one hour, Jahn deals with family, relationships and his homosexuality in a funny, wistful, endearing, enjoyable as well as mature way. He conquers his fear bravely (by mounting a public play, first of all), causing us to wonder what we are all so afraid of. Why can’t we approach a stranger at a party - what’s the worst that can happen? It’s nice to know we don’t suffer alone. For a one-act he covers a remarkable bit of ground. His show seems a little like a preview to a bigger revelation and it would be nice to see a longer version in the future. Hopefully, he will come up with a part two which would certainly be as well attended. As it is, it is definitely a show worth watching and one which will stay with you for a very long time.