Smith's edgy and funny The Watts Towers Project focuses on Simon Rodia, the Italian immigrant who spent 33 years building his towers, only to walk away from them, never to return. Smith blends his own childhood, the life of Rodia, and the last quarter-century of L.A. history to create (in the words of Back Stage West) a "wonderfully eclectic piece".More
This one-man show, recorded before an audience, is a stream-of-consciousness meditation inspired by the Watts Towers, a tall pair of abstract constructions built in a Los Angeles slum by an Italian immigrant over a 33-year period. The eloquent author-narrator displays considerable performing skill, cultural literacy, and knowledge of current events. He includes autobiography, humor, and essays on racial issues. But transitions from one thread to another confuse. Thought lines seem simultaneously random and canny. Though one feels some humane message is herein embedded, his point, or points, may be elusive to some.
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