Performing Arts: Theater
January 14, 2020
Josh Fox released in 2010 a documentary GASLAND that won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance, and seemingly as many fans as enemies. Ten years later, this New York theatre director turned documentarian returned to New York to appear at The Public Theatre in his multi-media one man show The Truth Has Changed in the 2020 Under The Radar Series.

As a verbal showman, he has mastered the art of suspense, surprise, and nuance. He is mesmerizing as his voice rises and dips, he flips the lights, picks up a banjo, jumps on a table and pauses while a projection singes our nerves. But Fox isn’t here to entertain us. He reports the evils of fracking and its global repercussions to our health and climate change, along with the ocean of misinformation spread by white supremacists.

He outlines, with as much restrain as he can muster, the revenge of the gas and oil industry he experienced since 2010 and how methodical that backlash is. He holds the microphone out to the audience towards the close of the show, asking them what is stronger than fear? A few tentative voices say “Love” and “Hope,” almost wistfully.

He is haunted by the stories of his grandfathers. One bolted from Poland the night before the rest of his family were seized and taken to the gas chambers and the other took his life here in the United States. Did he dig his own grave by producing GASLAND? Are we all walking blindly in a world that is becoming a gas chamber? He convinces us of all the havoc fracking has caused and how apocalyptic the level of chemical pollution in our water, food and air, but also our hold on the truth.

But still he pushes on with an insatiable curiosity to know what is going on. He went down to investigate the damage done by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. A scientist confessed that BP had released a chemical to make the oil sink quickly out of sight, “killing everything on the seafloor for generations to come.”

Fox says that an order had been made to keep planes flying over the gulf above 3,000 feet. But he finagled the opportunity to see the difference in the view below and above 3,000 feet. Above 3,000 feet, the gulf seems to be in fine fettle; below 3,000 feet, he could see the oil hanging in the water like a tumor that spread for miles. Produced by International WOW Company and Nathan Lemoine, THE TRUTH HAS CHANGED changes its viewers.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deirdre Towers

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