Desert Warrior

solo performance · ross john gosla · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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June 18, 2017 certified reviewer
tagged as: funny · heartfelt · alarming · shocking · surprising

What I liked

Acting, directing, staging, sound-design, lighting.

What I didn't like

Nothing. It could have easily been longer.

My overall impression

Director David Beatty, an able writer and actor in his own right, helped actor-victim-participant Ross Gosla corral this story into an hour-long, one-man (s)hit-show. Ross re-enacts a funny, heartfelt—and at times troubling—grand scheme steeped in a personal epic. Ignoring his own gut feelings, Ross became an accidental tourist unwittingly thrust into an international conspiracy, thereby contorting his own personal narrative into a cautionary tale about the price to be paid for optically-challenged devotion in the pursuit of one’s art. He is an almost star in an almost movie that almost started a war. Take guns, light sabers, and moaning elk…mix in a Jedi dreamer, a svengali director, a dodgy unit production manager, and a blue-rinse philosophical hair-and-makeup artist, and round it out with a cast of non-ethnic actors in pseudo-ethnic roles with patently bad accents…from Arizona to Hollywood to Duarte (Duarte?) to Benghazi…it’s all in there, and unlike a (Tony, not Jared) Kushnerian gallimaufry, it all makes sense in the end—thereby cementing in dramatic fashion the backstory of an election we can’t forget soon enough. Dune meets Wag the Dog or Lawrence of Arabia meets Charlie Wilson’s War, this just might be the chaotic steampunk story-in-a blender Terry Gilliam has been searching for for his entire life.

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