Reporting Rich Herrera
Mr. Know-It-All knows The Mike Tyson One Man Stage Show
By Rich Herrera
Mr. Know-It-All went to the One Man Stage Show of Mike Tyson The Undisputed Truth at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Wednesday night. When I first heard that Iron Mike was doing a stage show I instantly thought OMG (text talk for OH MY GOSH) what a joke, how sad it is to see the baddest man on the planet having to sell his soul and whatever dignity he might still have to do a dopey stage show that will make him an even bigger side show than his life has already been.
NOW MAKE SURE YOU READ THIS CARFULLY … I WAS WRONG I WAS WRONG I WAS WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG.
Just in case you missed it Ill say it again I was wrong.
Mike Tyson was a guest on the show a few weeks ago and in doing my homework for our one on one interview I tried to learn as much as I could about the stage show. I watched Bernie Goldberg on HBO Real Sports and listened to a dozen or so other interviews he had done to promote his show. I read many reviews and columns written about the one-man show.
I learned that the show was written by his wife, and produced by Spike Lee. It had short run on Broadway and played Vegas, and is now on a nationwide tour. The show was raw and emotional and Tyson touches on all aspects of his life, the ups and downs, the self inflicted wounds and the leaches that took advantage of him.
So when I walked into the theatre to see the show, I had an idea what I would see or so I thought. The show had me on the edge of my seat from the moment Tyson stepped on stage wearing all white sitting a stool welcoming us to his living room. His language was rude crude and profane while being as real as possible. He has done this show over and over yet his performance was like a prizefight and once he got going the better the show was. When he was on the radio with me he said that he was an actor playing the character that was Mike Tyson. You could really see him acting as Mike Tyson. He was funny witty and engaging throughout the performance.
The audience was not what you would find on Broadway, off Broadway or even my local Hooters. They were not your typical theatre crowd as more beer was probably consumed than most stage shows. There was more hoots and hollers than you would get at A Mid Summer’s Night Dream, and more random screams at the performance than when I saw Man of La Mancha. But Tyson rolled with the punches when someone screamed from the 30th row a question why didn’t he knock Don King out. I couldn’t get over the dude in front of me who alternated between screaming out at the top of his lungs every time Cus D’Amto was mentioned and snapping pitchers and taking movies on his cell phone through the show. Although I thought he was out of line when he started watching the video he just shot while Tyson was still on stage, but I told him Id see him the Summer Stock production of Hair in Brooksville next month.
Tyson took us on his life journey from his childhood run INS with the law, to his parents. He talked in great detail about Cus D’Amato (go ahead guy in front of me and yell and wave your fist like you did whenever the Champ mentioned his mentor). He talked about his marriage with Robin Givens and his run in with Teddy Atlas in such detail you almost felt like you were right there by his side. He spoke of his career reaching the championship of the world and the night he was upset in Tokyo. He talked about prison and having a fortune and then having nothing. His relationship with Don King is discussed as is his failures as a man and a father and in a rather poignant moment where you could hear a pin drop he spoke of losing his daughter.
The showstopper was the scene in which he talks about his run INS with Mitch “Blood” Green and their prizefight and then their street fight in Harlem. His showman ship during the reenactment of the confrontation was so compelling it almost felt you were ringside at a world championship fight that was going the distance. And the only thing that was better than that was the line he used when talking about the infamous ear-biting incident with Evander Holyfield. He asked everyone to buy Holyfield’s BBQ sauce because he said that he wished he would have had it when he bit him “because human beings taste like $#&*”.
Well said Champ and again I am sorry for doubting you in the first place.