REVIEWS FROM THE MINNESOTA FRINGE FESTIVAL:
When meeting your hero doesn’t disappoint
This was an unplanned show for me, but one that showcases a side of the Fringe that sometimes gets lost amid the noise. Robert Hubbard runs deep into his own life for this play about his relationship with his alcoholic father, and his love of the Denver Broncos and legendary quarterback John Elway. You don’t need to be a fan of pro football to be swept up in the story, or fully engage with Hubbard’s personal, heartfelt approach.
— Ed Huyck, CityPages
As true as memory will allow
…a proviso on Robert Hubbard’s program I can definitely relate to. This was a powerful performance. I came expecting to postcard, because the theme is similar to my own show – but I was too blown away to put my marketing hat on. This was a powerful performance.
Robert Hubbard’s portrait of his alcoholic father reminded me in many ways of Scott Russell Sanders’ “Under the Influence,” an essay that is required reading in many memoir classes. “The Walking Man is a beautifully balanced segment in and of itself, one which sets the context for phrases like “sweet redemption.”
Though it isn’t central to the piece, having been an adjunct at Wheaton for a semester, I enjoyed the way Hubbard portrayed, with warmth, affection, insight, and humor, the different academic personalities of the evangelical Christian colleges – Calvin, Trinity, Wheaton, Valpariso. I also enjoyed how deftly he mapped theological concepts onto something as apparently secular as football. None of this is done in a heavy-handed, “witnessing” way; the quiet sincerity of the performance speaks for itself. You do not need to like football, or know anything about John Elway (I didn’t); you do not need to be Christian (I’m not); you do not even need to be the adult child of an alcoholic (ditto, though the therapists keep asking if I’m sure). You will still understand the power of giving and receiving forgiveness.
Plus it’s damned good theater. Well, maybe not damned good – except for the bit about Al Davis being the Prince of Darkness. But good.
—Paula Nancarrow, Northstar Storytelling League
Okay, so not much can make me tear up these days, but the way that this show strings together father/son relationships, the way that they invest themselves in sport, and the magical thinking that gets infused in all of sports, brings about a catharsis that kept echoing, for me, with the phrase “sweet redemption.” And I think of how rarely the phrase “sweet redemption” has resonated so fully for me, as it does through this show. Bob is engaging, and honest, and sincere.
–Timothy Mooney, Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre
See this extraordinary performance
This is the magic of Fringe. You walk into a show cold and find a gem. This is one of those. It is a big hearted, moving, tour de force — a monologue that will sweep you up in its story and passions. And you don’t need to care or know about football to love this exquisite and unforgettable performance. A standing ovation for Robert Hubbard!! You really captured me with this one!
— Marcia Avner, Fringe.com
Bravura, heart-rending performance
Tightly bound, dramatically told, quietly and harshly autobiographical story of a boy and his dad and their “bond”, such as it could be. Perhaps the most tear-jerking show for me. Pathos, a little humor, and some redemption (non-religious sort) as well. Please see this show if you ever get the chance. A great storyteller, with a great story and delivery.
—Suzanne Sharrock Fringe.com
REVIEWS FROM THE KANSAS CITY FRINGE FESTIVAL:
“It’s a fine storytelling show, one in which I found myself sitting in the audience with a big goofy smile on my face. Definitely for anyone with a love of the sport; but just as definitely for anyone with an understanding of obsession.”
— Phillip Andrew Bennett Low, Twin Cities Daily Planet
“Beautifully written and delightfully performed, HELECOPTERS tells of football as a driving force between a father and a son. Funny and poignant, Hubbard has crafted an hour of theatre that works really well. I was visibly moved, as was the rest of the crowd. Give yourself this gift!”