“What Doesn’t Kill You” is a one-man delight

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What Doesn’t Kill You by James Hindman

What Doesn’t Kill You gives you that feeling of intimacy and warmth

James Hindman sitting on a chair with his legs up
The New Jersey Repertory Theatre presents “What Doesn’t Kill You” photo from the website.

The New Jersey Repertory Theatre in Long Branch returns to live performances—and kicks off its new studio theatre spac— with a one-man extravaganza of comedy, James Hindman’s What Doesn’t Kill You. This new show, performed by the playwright, takes us through events in his past which helped him along his personal path of growth, making him stronger without killing him (obviously).

During the course of his 75-minute monologue, Mr. Hindman relates the stories of surviving a “widowmaker” heart attack, his obsession with Cher, and a tour he and his husband took to the Theresienstadt ghetto/concentration camp in the Czech Republic. Interwoven with these tales are remembrances of past fears overcome, most importantly his effort to overcome his fear of writing, instilled in him by a hyper-critical teacher at an early age.

Sensitively guided by the direction of Suzanne Barabas, NJ Rep’s Artistic Director, Hindman plays his story for humor but never strays into trivializing his experiences for the sake of a laugh. His years of acting experience serve him well here, and he forms a quick and easy rapport with his audience. This gives the entire show the feeling that one is sitting by the fire hearing a friend tell stories—the most basic definition of theatre there is.

What Doesn’t Kill You gives you that feeling of intimacy and warmth, that intimate connection between people, that few plays successfully do.  The New Jersey Repertory Theatre upholds its well-earned reputation for presenting new, thought-provoking plays with this production.  I urge you to see the funny, entertaining, and above all touching What Doesn’t Kill You before its brief run ends.

What Doesn’t Kill You is presented by the New Jersey Repertory Theatre in Long Branch through November 21st. The theatre requires proof of vaccination before entering, and masks must be worn at all times in the building.  For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.njrep.org or call 732-229-3166.