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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Review- And Then You Die (How I Ran a Marathon In 26.2 Years) (FringeNYC)

The Fab Marquee review by Antonio Minino.

First thing you notice while taking in the set of David Hansen's autobiographical one-man show, is the three pairs of shoes you should never run a marathon with--already clues that we are in for some great anecdotes regarding his training for this quest of olympian proportions.

In an open hearted and earnest performance, Hansen recounts his unsatisfied earlier years, the grave loss of his newborn boy, and his personal decline after that. Until he decides to run the NY Marathon, and things just fall into place. With good-if sometimes distracting-use of Multimedia and flashbacks, Hansen transports us from 2006 to 1980, back again and decades in between. 

In And Then You Die we meet a lot of people that have crossed or influenced Hansen's life, but you will have a hard time understanding why they are important, as these characters are not developed or referenced more than once or twice. And the characters that have obviously molded his need to run, we wanted and needed more of. His father who used to run when he was just a child, his first inspiration, was he around to see him run the Marathon? and his wife, with whom he had two more children, a girl and a boy, we needed more of these pivotal influences. The play works best when it is recounting the NY Marathon and how he trained in Cleveland by running from his home to his parents miles away. 

With room to indulge and sentimentalize certain scenes, director Alison Garrigan does a good job at letting the actor's vulnerability come naturally and not forced by having him emulate what is already in the words.  

Though there are structural problems, David Hansen's story will have you dusting off your sneakers and running to make a change in your life. With only a show left tomorrow, I suggest you drop whatever plans you have and allow him to influence you and share his story.

Cleveland Public Theatre
New York International Theatre Festival present
David Hansen's
And Then You Die (How I Ran A Marathon In 26.2 Years)
The Robert Moss Theater

Final Performance Saturday, August 22nd at 2PM. For Tickets visit

The Robert Moss Theater | 440 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor | Manhattan.

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