Posted on Jul 20, 2014
5 out of 5
In "Can't", comedian and speaker Malcolm Grissom takes us through a fascinating and deeply personal journey through his world. He speaks of his early days growing up in hawaii, the impact that getting Reye's Syndrome at age nine had on his life, the awkwardness trying to find his place in the world and do what he was meant to do. His life has been a particularly unusual one, and one supposes most of his audience will never experience most of the things that have pervaded throughout his life. Nevertheless, such is the skill of the truly talented speaker that we associate with him, and his words resonate with us.
Core to the theme of "Can't" is the idea of finding your song--not just an actual song, mind, but the thing you were meant to be doing. Writing, painting, leading others--these are all songs that we may find for ourselves. Malcolm Grissom has certainly found his song. He speaks of the travails of being both black and disabled, of the war of voices in his head guiding him forward or holding him back. He brings us into his moments of sublimest joy--and most soul-crushing defeat.
"Can't Ain't Nothing But a 4-Letter Word" is a compelling solo piece, and take the audience from the start and doesn't let go all the way to the end. This reviewer has a soft spot for single-person shows like this; when done well they are some of the best that Fringe has to offer. "Can't" is definitely worth the watch.