There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique…Martha Graham
When boundless energy combines with incredible talent the result is Gustavo Pace and Naked Brazilian. The ability to convincingly portray a wide range of characters is rare, and to do it this well is truly remarkable. The show is fast paced and there is not a moment’s pause or flicker of confusion in the performance. The apparent ease with which this is accomplished is amazing and can only get better with the added confidence of each performance.
We first meet Gustavo as himself, as the narrator, and as his ill-tempered and often irrational father (who later is the proud father who insists upon taking endless pictures of Gustavo as he gets his degree from Harvard). During the first few minutes there’s a lot of conversation between father and son in Spanish with brief explanations by Gustavo as the Narrator; for the most part this works well, though perhaps slowing down the initial scenes a bit.
Leaving his home in Brazil and his life as a law student, Gustavo moves to New York to pursue his dream of being an actor, encountering numerous characters along the way; among them a sex therapist, a crazed gunman, and a homicidal producer. Shortly after arriving he begins studying with an acting coach, later shares an apartment with him and finally is taken home to meet his family where an enthusiastic mother tells Gustavo, to his dismay, ”We are happy that you are our son-in-law.” That was the end of that relationship.
At last, applying for his Green Card, he is told by the lawyer he doesn’t have sufficient credentials. He has three months to figure something out. He begins to recall all the events of his life since arriving in New York and realizes that they would make a good one man show. He writes it, performs it to excellent reviews and now has the required credentials.
It’s an endless adventure about pursuing a dream and the many individuals and situations incurred in the process, and the audience is carried along with every moment. Be forewarned that once you see it you may find yourself humming “Girl from Ipanema” for days.
There is only one more performance in this very limited run: Sunday, August 21, 2016, at 8:30pm, but you can be certain Naked Brazilian will move forward with many more venues and performances and ever increasing success.
Written, and performed by Gustavo Pace
Directed by Stephen Brown-Fried
Sound Design by Julian Evans, Lighting Design by Ethan Steimel
Photography by Jim R. Moore
Part of the New York International Fringe Festival
64 East 4 Mainstage (64 East 4th Street)