You Fear What I Fear?
a kate west review
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;
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.
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.
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.
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