Adapted & Directed by Ann Filmer
Produced by Firecat Projects
At the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre
Chicago’s own artist, actor, storyteller and philosopher: Tony Fitzpatrick stars in Stations Lost.
He is large, bald with tattoos and he wears a cut-off T-shirt, jeans and sneakers. He uses salty language, honors his friends (especially his sidekick Stan Klein) and he shares his past, warts and all in total honest storytelling. He is never shy about his political, social, political and ecstatic views of the world. He is a Chicago original, an icon of the liberal,with a gritty artistic temperament grounded in Chicago self-expression. He is Tony Fitzpatrick – a force of art.
With Stations Lost, as the second part of Fitzpatrick’s trilogy (follows last year’s This Train), Fitzpatrick has written a most compelling and thoroughly engaging performance art piece. Adapted and Directed by Ann Filmer, Stations Lost uses the blend of personal storytelling, video art of Fitzpatrick’s unusual covers and illustration art and bluesy/folk songs (sung by Lynne Jordan to John Rice’s guitar) to express Tony’s impressions about his world.
Tony tells about the violent physical terror the Catholic nuns inflicted on him as a grade schooler that gave him the view that religion was based on physical violence more than belief in a gentle God. Tony reflects on how his individuality and his need for self expression lead him to draw cartoon characters, he particularly loved villains and to write poetry during his growing up years.
In Stations Lost, Fitzpatrick, with help from his friend and pal Stan Klein bring us up to date with Tony’s latest adventures that include a car trip from Chicago to the West Coast with a trip to Istanbul thrown in. With terrific comic art video backdrops, Tony’s raw descriptions of his travels to Ohio – Blue Ohio -a the ultimate Middle American location that typifies the common sense attitudes of Mid-westerners.
Tony’s observations are both personal and universal; his wit and humor have a crude rawness that highlights his honesty and down-to-earth realism. His urban provocateur temperament and basic need to tell his story fuels his showmanship. He is funny, self-mocking and totally uninhibited. He says what’s on his mind. He has the smooth Lynne Jordan underscore his words with expressive blues, R & B and folk tunes upon John Rice’s smooth guitar sounds.
Tony’s challenges our beliefs about Muslim by traveling to Istanbul to see for himself what a strongly religious Muslim is all about. Tony’s observations challenge both his and our views of the strict religious views of Muslims. Tony reflects on his own insecurities and he reflects that religion can be a positive force for good in society. His road trip and adventures in Turkey help widen and shapes his emerging view of the world that he expresses in his words and art. This 100 minute show is fresh, vibrant, stylistic, funny and honest. We meet a fearless, outspoken artist who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. His view of the world speaks to our basic sense that finds worthiness of the individual and gives us hope that basic goodness will ultimately prevail . Come meet Tony Fitzpatrick and have a grand time exploring his unique world. Tony can be found at his Firecat Projects gallery at 2124 N. Damen Ave, in Chicago when not doing his show at Steppenwolf.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: July 7. 2011
At the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL, tickets $25, www.steppenwolf.org, Thursday & Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 5 & 8 pm. Sundays at 7 pm, running time is 100 minutes with intermission, through July 24, 2011