On an invitation from Pinedo PR, I was issued a press pass to check out this show last night for NYCTalking. Yesterday was one of those days where I was extremely exhausted, it had been a very long, draining week. Honestly, I just wanted to finish work, soak in a hot spa at the gym then go home and go to sleep. However, I decided to scratch that plan and come for the show. I’m glad that I did, there is much to learn from Mr. David Harrell.
Allow me to provide a little background info for you guys. David was born without a right hand. He opens right up with a joke where he says I wonder which one hits harder, the fist or the nub as he punches his brother. Ultimately, David’s brother says that the nub hurts more.
That’s it, that’s your introduction. Get it? During this play David tells us all about his introduction to the world. From before he was born, to when he is born and his parents discover he is missing his right hand. His mother immediately says, “He’s not going to be different!” One gathers from the very beginning that his parents always have his back, South Georgia style! That’s pretty awesome, some parents don’t react well to their child being “different” and actually feel sorry for themselves!
Throughout the rest of the show, David spends time telling us about his struggles to be “normal.” He chronicles his journey from the school yard where he eventually kicks a kid’s butt with his prosthetic “hook” because he was making fun of him, to how he won a baseball playoff game even after his abusive coach continually put him down. This play is a story of perseverance, a word that David is taught at a young age, and a word that comes up at the very end of the show during a conversation with his grandpa. Perseverance.
David’s show style is a comedic style, during a post-show talk, he did mention that his aim was to make the show as funny as he could. I think he achieved this as he gets his points across with lots of humor. He even introduced us to his pal Mr. T via the nub. “YOU DON’T QUIT, FOOL!” David’s story comes in two flavors, one for adults (which was this one I saw) and he also has one that is geared for younger kids that is themed around Captain Hook and how he can be a good guy!
This show is a great story of a man who does not allow his physical limitations to define him as a person. The concept is pretty universal, and addresses bullying, discrimination, self-acceptance, and ultimately finding your way. I recommend you check out this show. It’s a great blend of humor and real-life struggle.
Growing Up Bronx
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