My Alamo War

solo performance · lean dog mean dog productions · Ages 12+ · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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Review by GARY STOCKDALE
June 22, 2016

tagged as: Cults · scams · religion · LA history

What I liked

First off, I’m a sucker for any piece of work that exposes the incredible corruption, greed, lies, and out-and-out evil of religious cults and their leaders. Plus, there’s nothing I love more than someone whose commitment to doing the right thing veers into the realm of insanity. I got both in spades from Ernest Kearney’s “My Alamo War.” Being an LA native for all of my 60-plus years, I know the story of Tony and Susan Alamo well, having seen them prey on the denizens of Hollywood in the ‘70s. Kearney’s story is one of a man whose outrage at the fraud and manipulation of these charlatans reached a boiling point, and consumed his life, bringing him to the brink of madness.

What I didn't like

The only thing I would add would be music of the era, sound effects, and perhaps video projections for the graphics. But considering the technical limitations of the Fringe experience (moving your entire show in and out of the theater in 15 minutes, before and after the performance), Kearney was probably wise in keeping his show low-tech.

My overall impression

As the show progresses, we see Kearney gradually realize he can’t keep fighting this war and have a normal life, and the process of his realizing this is the turning point in the play. I found his performance convincing and passionate, and the whole piece was witty and well-written. It should re-emerge in an evening of plays about peoples’ experiences with cults and scam artists.

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