Reviewed by Estelle Rosen
I have very fond memories of the free spirited 60s. Included with those memories, the evil J.Edgar Hoover. How to become JAYEE presents itself as a film in process about Hoover. Unfortunately, what we got was a weak fleeting glimpse that didn't touch on the manipulative, lying, corrupt nature of Hoover. Zack Amzallag as Leo, an actor hoping for an Oscar for his portrayal of Hoover, gives us a one dimensional character. We're dealing with a multi-layered person. Amzallag was way too reasoned, way too nice, way too soft spoken, in his portrayal of Hoover. Where was the macho Hoover. Where was the evil Hoover. The flat one tone portrayal represented a good idea that went nowhere.
I'd like to find something good to say about this play, but it's difficult. To undertake what could have been a dynamic piece that instead was a washout is sad. The potential wasn't utilized in the slightest way. The narrative was static. The writing didnt capture strength of subject. The performances didnt work. The atmosphere was wrong. Nothing held together. Hoover is not an easy subject to portray - many nuances - but we got none. Much more could have been done more cohesively. Too many times, at the word Hawaii, they gyrate to Hawaiian music...ho hum - a boring idea at the best of times. To do this several times in a 45 minute piece gets very annoying.
With Fringe plays, we never know what to expect. Many times over the years, I have discovered gems. This was not one of those times.
I would like to rate it 1 charpie but because it was a good idea that may yet work one day...