Robin and Me: My Little Spark of Madness is Dave Droxler's love letter to Robin Williams. The script follows Droxler's life and how Williams shaped him into who he is today.
Droxler's performance delivers vulnerable candor as he details his struggles relating to his father and raising his son. He uses physical comedy and his chameleon-like ability to imitate figures around him to depict emotional stories. Along with Robin Williams, Droxler includes impressions of Jim Carrey, Jack Nicholson, Andy Kauffman and Eddie Izzard. He explains his early love for these performers manifested in his learning to take on their personas and, in a way, carry them inside himself. This is how Robin ends up having the most significant effect on Droxler's life. When he has nowhere to turn, he asks this imaginary Robin Williams for guidance. At times this inclusion of Williams feels out of place. For example, when Droxler gets his first erection, Williams helps to explain human sexuality to him. Although Williams serves as his mentor, these moments sometimes stand in the way of the comedy. When you take on the body, voice and energy of someone so well-known and loved, it is hard to live up to the legend. The jokes didn't quite land with the raucous laughter Williams is known for eliciting. Robin Williams was a one-of-a-kind rarity. In trying to become someone so iconic, Droxler, at times, loses himself.
The scenic design by Yi-Hsuan (Ant) Ma consists of both the backstage and the set for a traditional living room play. Racks of costumes and chairs hung on pegs on the wall lend the set a transitory feeling. The lighting design by Dawn Chiang and the sound design for the show help sell the various locations where the story takes place. The technical work in this solo piece feels very thought out, intentional and artistically rich.
Throughout this hour-long solo show, Droxler leaps, runs, dances and rolls all over the stage with seemingly limitless energy. He is a firecracker onstage. "Robin and Me" showcases Droxler in his element, making people laugh.
“Robin and Me: My Little Spark of Madness”
Written & Performed by Dave Droxler
Directed by Chad Austin
April 15th-May 14th, 2023
410 West 42nd (btw 9th and 10th Avenue)
Carmen! is a trans-multimedia artist specializing in playwriting, acting and crochet. Originally from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, they are currently based in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, returning to their Atlantic Oceanic roots. Their play Taking the Plunge has been performed at the Tank and the Chain off Broadway and in the 2023 Fresh Fruit Festival slated this June. Carmen has also worked in front of house and technical positions for prominent theater organizations including New Dramatists, Portland Playhouse, Emursive and Future Proof. Carmen’s mission is to use play to create meaningful representation by and for underrepresented communities. For more information on Carmen! Follow them on socials @carmenacetosociety or check out www.carmenburbridge.info