Magic and Memory

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August 11, 2012 by Paula Reed Nancarrow

Review of A One-way Ticket to Crazy Town

by The Adventures of Les Kurkendal

I found this show very moving, as anyone might who has recently faced the reality that they will not have the parent they have known all their life forever; and that even if that parent remains physically present, as they age they may lose aspects of their personality you have somehow assumed were immortal. Watching this happen can be heartbreaking, and the fact that Les tells this story with warmth and humor is especially helpful. If I had not been prepping for my own final show, I would have asked him the question that most intrigued me, which was how much of the framework was fact and how much was fiction. Because as a storyteller myself, I want narrative to have the magic power to bring my mother back – want it probably too much to have any capacity to look objectively at the trope.  And I want to believe that the better a story is told, the more power it will have.  So if I can just learn to tell the story right, and with power, she will never have to lose herself, and I will never have to lose her, while she is still living.  Because it is the slow death, the annihilation of self and memory and relationship, that we all fear.  But I did not ask that question.  Perhaps I do not really want to know the answer.

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