On Saturday Dan Hoyle unveiled The Real Americans, his much-anticipated follow-up to his long-running Marsh hit Tings Dey Happen, which won the Will Glickman Award for best new play to debut in the Bay Area in 2007. Son of acclaimed local comic actor Geoff Hoyle, Dan honed his particular brand of journalistic solo theater with 2004′s Circumnavigator and 2005′s Florida 2004: The Big Bummer. But the cross-section of players large and small in the game of Nigerian oil politics that he captured with chameleonlike skill in Tings was utterly enthralling, from warlords and militants to foreign oil workers and diplomats, and it was seemingly a hard act to follow. But with The Real Americans, he’s done a heck of a job.
It took a long time for me to catch up with Loveland, Ann Randolph’s latest solo show at the Marsh. It opened back in October as a follow-up to her previous hit Squeeze Box, both the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly’s pick for best solo show of 2002, which enjoyed a much-extended eight-month run at the Marsh last year. And I have to admit, I missed that one entirely. I also missed the initial run of Loveland but had a second chance when it returned this month for another extension.