BOTTOM LINE: A trippy story about the original acid trip.
Martin Dockery is an compelling storyteller. A little quirky, a little nerdy, and incredibly sincere about his anecdote, Dockery immediately engages the audiences and brings them into his world. His previous solo shows have been met with praise from audiences and critics alike. His newest offering, The Bike Trip, uncovers several characters at various times, he defies the traditional one-person show genre by never actually becoming those people on stage. Instead, he actively tells a story - one in which other people exist - but doesn't break through any realm of theatricality. For this reason, The Bike Trip seems approachable for audiences on all levels (i.e. you don't have to have a predisposition to the one-person show genre to appreciate the story).
In The Bike Trip, Dockery chronicles his journey to discover the roots of LSD and the cultural impact the drug has had since its creation. He starts the story by detailing a day in San Francisco, sitting at a cafe with his friend. They are in the Haight-Ashbury district, where LSD received serious cultural significance back in the 1960's and where many revelers come to experience the neighborhood today. Dockery decides he wants to travel to Switzerland, where the drug was originally synthesized by Albert Hoffman in the 1930's. He feels compelled to recreate Hoffman's first acid trip, when he was testing the potency of the drug. Dockery is sure he is going to get some great material from the experience, so he rents a theatre before he leaves, certain that he will have a new show by the time her returns. He travels abroad in search of an incredible story, only to find that he's really high, kinda bored, and freezing cold.
Dockery is a great performer and it's hard to take your eyes off of him. He uses his voice for emphasis and it gives his performance a poetic feel. His writing itself flows like spoken word instead of a traditional script and it elevates the show to a much more interesting place than say, someone just telling a story. The Bike Trip is funny, with punch lines that come out of nowhere. And it's an interesting tale at its core. This show is certainly worth seeing and hell, you might even learn something.
(The Bike Trip plays at the Kraine Theatre, 85 East 4th Street, through March 7, 2010. Performances are March 3rd at 6pm, March 5th at 7pm and March 7th at 2:30pm. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at smarttix.com. For more festival information visit frigidnewyork.info.)