What it's about
(Flying) Dutchman is a short and intense performance that attempts to highlight racial and sexual issues/insecurities in the world around us.
I was the only person sitting in the audience for the better part of 20 minutes. I started to worry that no one was coming and that I would be the entire audience – but luckily, right before the show began, a wave of young people poured into the small space. I thought it was cool that the bulk of the audience looked to be college-age or a little older. The vibe was definitely way different than a Broadway show – much more chatty, and less formal. Because the theater was dark, small, cramped, and a little stuffy, I felt the space was almost fated to lead to a night of discomfort.
I came into this show with zero expectations. It was based off an Amiri Bakara text (which I hadn’t read). Right from the beginning, I was overwhelmed. I am a fairly low-key person – I usually avoid loud and over-stimulating shows. But WOW, this one hit me in the face from the start.
I was in awe. I was creeped out. I was cringing. You name it, I felt it.
I soon felt that the performers’ lines were being directed not just at each other, but at me and at the rest of the audience. It was weird because at times, I felt like I was in the play with them as some sort of passive observer. Other times, I would snap out of that trance when one of them would do something unexpected. I definitely didn’t anticipate such a charged and electric atmosphere. I only wish I had really understood what the heck was going on. Maybe next time I ought to do a little more research and figure out what the source material was all about…
The entire performance was just really confusing. I felt like I was being pulled in 1,000 different directions by the themes and characters in this show. I could not grab onto any kind of storyline and I could not sympathize or truly understand any of the characters. Everything moved so quickly and the topics shifted on a dime – I was not up to the task of keeping track of it all!
People were slamming tables, throwing apples, and yelling in my (and other audience members') faces - probably not for the faint of heart! Let me put it this way – I definitely wouldn’t bring a first-time theatergoer or a tourist to this show. They may never come back.
The word for this play is abrupt. No matter what part of the show, I was on the edge of my seat and on the tip of my toes. It started abruptly, it progressed in an abrupt way, and it ended even more abruptly than it began. If you’re going to come to this play, I have just two words of advice