Given limitations of time and space, you can’t catch everything, at least in the artistically fecund Bay Area. That’s my excuse anyway, for not catching Dan Hoyle’s Each and Every Thing when it opened some time back. Fortunately, Hoyle’s 75 minute one-man show was just extended at the SF Marsh through August 22nd. If you haven’t caught it before – and maybe even if you have – you’ve got the chance to take it in. If you have any interest in community or digital brain damage, you’ll want to see this one. The baby-faced Hoyle is a superb performer who will take you places you didn’t expect.
Like Anna Deavere Smith, godmother of one-person shows everywhere, Hoyle draws his material from extensive interviews. In Each and Every Thing, you become partner to conversations with his friend Pratim, whose stoned-out open heart gives you a contact high even when channeled through Hoyle. It’ll take you across long treks across the prairie to Nebraska, to the corner where Hoyle tries to connect with the drug dealers, through the great hippy reckoning of the 1980’s, onto an Indian coffeehouse, and down for a stay in digital detox.
Hoyle’s a good-looking guy in a very unmemorable early 30-something kind of way, which makes it easier to assume completely different identities. Unlike many other solo performers whose characters become so predictable that are on the verge of becoming cartoons, Hoyle keeps his audience off-guard, never quite sure where he is going. Instead of relying on a small handful of tricks to delineate a character, he goes a level deeper and lets the character flesh him out.
He gets the value of vegging out with that Panda clip you just saw.
Much of the show devolves upon the mind-numbing, attention-span robbing, zombification wrought by phones and Facebook –and our feeble attempts to build community on the dregs of what’s left of our attention. But hey, Hoyle’s no Luddite. He gets the value of vegging out with that Panda clip you just saw. However, he’s critically attuned to how this steady diet of digital distraction diminishes our ability to form real connections and real community as much as it enhances it. We isolate in our FB echo chambers, going for that dopamine hit correlated with likes and what passes as real interaction.
Dan Hoyle is someone you want to watch. If you’re just catching up with him now, this show is has been cooked to perfection, making it the perfect place to open up to the Dan Hoyle experience.