Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mike Tyson Review

Justifying spending money on a ticket to see Mike Tyson, by himself on a stage for two hours, can't be easy. "Sounds like a train wreck", said one friend to me before the show.  "That has the potential to be awful", said another.

Not only was it not a train wreck or awful, it was amazing.  Compelling.  Hilarious.  Traumatically gut wrenching.  Mike Tyson - yes, that Mike Tyson - hit it out of the park at DPAC on Tuesday night.  

With a video screen behind him taking you on a tour of his life starting with his birth to an alcoholic mother in Brooklyn (where you learn from the get go that his father wasn't who he grew up thinking he was), Tyson paces back and forth across the stage animatedly interacting with the video and the audience.

Tyson's comic timing is stunningly good.  When he gets up close to the screen to stare at Robin Givens while the footage of the infamous Barbara Walters interview is played.  When he dances to Kanye West's "Golddigger" when describing Givens.  When he talks about discovering Givens with Brad Pitt. 

Although you know the headlines, he presents all his stories with incredible self-deprecation, humor, and interesting insight.  Being accosted by fellow boxer Mitch Green in the middle of the night and knocking him out? ("He was like a Weeble.  Weebles wobble but they don't fall down.") Buster Douglas? ("Everyone thought I was going to win that fight but me.  I wasn't ready".) The ear-biting? ("Don't ever bite someone's ear.  It tastes like ___").  Don King? ("I had 440 million dollars in the bank when I got out of jail and went bankrupt.  Don King owned me.  He was charging me $8,000 a week for towels.  Did you hear me?  I said TOWELS.")

The show's conclusion, which features a touching tribute to Tyson's 4-year old daughter that died in a tragic treadmill accident, has got to be impossible for him to relive night after night but he does with beautiful grace and a very believable mea culpa to the world and himself that he wants to be a better person.  

I would have never, ever expected one of my favorite stage shows to be something called "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth".  But as you know, life is full of surprises.

Radio 96.1

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