Dan Hoyle had one socially conscious brunch too many in San Francisco with his intellectually cynical, privilege-sensitive friends. So, armed with a tape recorder and curiosity, he set off in a van to find "the real America." The Main Street, blue-collar, American flag-waving, gun-firing, beer-drinking America of political campaigns, Norman Rockwell paintings, and Fox News. With director Charlie Varon, he turned his travels into a one-man show, and brought it back to the liberal meccas to serve up a slice of enlightened American pie.
It is a piece that could easily tip into stereotypical generalizations, but Hoyle delivers characters, not caricatures. With the change of a hat, Hoyle slips into the skin of each new American; he is a master of dialects, inflection, physicality, and swagger. He introduces us to a self-proclaimed "crippled old racist redneck," a Dominican American from NYC who fought in Afghanistan, an ex-hippie who gave up Haight-Ashbury for conspiracy theories, and an Appalachian mechanic whose speech requires subtitles.
Not that the play insists "the real America" even exists. Hoyle needs a pep talk from a moonshine-induced vision of Obama to get through it. By that point, everyone needs it, because what do you do when the same people who feed you, clothe you, and pray for your safe journey, also insist that the Rapture is imminent and Obama is a Muslim? As the Appalachian hillbilly says, "If you find America, you tell me. I don't see it much."