July 29, 2005
Volume 33
Issue 30

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2016 02:09
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The Tricky Part - Engaging & humorous,
The Tricky Part - Engaging & humorous,
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

The Tricky Part

Directed by Seth Barrish

Written by and starring Martin Moran

Intiman Theatre

Opened July 13

The subject of the abuse of minors by figures in authority is so much in the news, and the outrage one feels when hearing of a new case of such trespasses, is so with us these days, it's hard to imagine that a one man show about such a subject could have humor in it. But writer and actor Martin Moran's solo performance of his remembrance of his own experience of being molested by an older camp counselor as a pre-teen does have moments of humor. One could say The Tricky Part transcends and in every way uplifts, even as it tells a story of a crime against innocence.

What I most liked about Moran's piece was his ability to not only bring the audience into his memories of being a Catholic school boy on the East Coast, and how he made me see the nuns he was talking about. Each character from Moran's past becomes a magical, larger-than-life, and yet, all too human, being. And there is a commonality about his experiences that makes it possible even for someone who's been just about every religion known to humans, experience what it must have been like to be raised Catholic, and have Catholicism permeating every part of his life as a child. Moran is a story teller with an amazing gift for stirring the audience's imagination, even as we all know that at some point he must tell us the horrific tale that is the core of this piece.

And when Moran finally does tell of the moment that begun his relationship with this older man he'd earlier admired, everyone in the audience last week was absolutely still. I would say his honesty and clarity, and the way he recounted in detail the physical and mental memories of that moment literally took some of our breaths away, and deeply moved everyone present. He then goes on to recount meeting the man later, after the relationship has ended, his abuser has been punished with jail time, and has come to be in a veterans hospital, much less the man Moran remembers from that last meeting. This telling is also one that had audience members dabbing at eyes and some holding onto friends or partners, visible signs of how Moran's storytelling ability was and is able to give us his truth without beating our emotions to death.

The Tricky Part is a mesmerizing performance by a performer who has achieved not only forgiveness, but a kind a grace in translating his experiences into written form. I'm glad I saw it and I cannot recommend it enough, whether you are a survivor yourself or not. It will heal you, give you hope and most of all give everyone who sees it, in my opinion, a reference point from which to move forward in life. I salute Martin Moran for having the courage to both write this piece and even more to present it, no apologies, no drama, just honesty and even yes, humor. For tickets, call (206) 269-1901, or go online to
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