THE GREAT SATAN SPEAKS - THE WISDOM OF ROBERT G. INGERSOLL

Solo Show · lean dog mean dog productions · Ages 12+ · family friendly · one person show · United States of America

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Review by RICHARD LUCAS

June 28, 2022
IMPORTANT NOTE: We cannot certify this reviewer attended a performances of this show because no ticket was purchased through this website or the producer has not verified they attended.
tagged as: witty · smart · inspiring · historical

What I liked

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What I didn't like

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My overall impression

What a joy it is to hear our language constructed with such deft linguistic skill and wit, and the ideas—the basic principles of being a good people—which should have been and should be the driving concept of our founding and continual existence as a nation, put down in such a pleasant hour. Kearney makes it seem so easy. As Ingersoll, he keeps strict adherence to the typical 19th century orator’s presentational style. That doesn’t mean it is easy because the thoughts are deep, and the intentions behind them, as often is necessary when critiquing society for “change” sake, are cutting, yet inspiring. Kearney has culled together highlights of Ingersoll’s common sense and hopeful thinking and delivers them with a warm, frankly loving, storyteller charm, nearly never losing eye contact with the audiences or a broad, disarming smile, nor does he often raise his tone to anger even when the words themselves were a broadsword against the prevailing ignorance of our burgeoning nation, and are still so painfully relevant today. Perhaps wit can be more communicative than war. Though Ingersoll’s father was a preacher, the younger here chooses a friendliness rather than pulpit bombast. It is a very effective “bees with honey” approach. I hope that Kearney takes this show on the road as a historical and educational piece. I can think of no better way to get thoughtful conversations going with open minds (the ones that might still remain) than with a figure for whom they have no knowledge and so no prejudgment. There were too many instances to count when I thought, “I wish everyone could hear this!” while reflecting on the silly, greedy, manipulative, and, dare I say, destructive media and political mess of today. Beyond the editing choices of Ingersoll’s material, and the joy of clarity in hearing simple common sense for once, I truly enjoyed the classic orator’s style. I appreciate that Kearney chose to deliver it as it might have been in Ingersoll’s time. I also wouldn’t want to watch The Gettysburg Address or “I Have a Dream” with a choreography of dancers, flashing lights, and pounding techno music. Even without those tricks to dictate my emotions, somehow I still left enthused, hopeful, and inspired.

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