The New York Times was right! It's a "first-rate" production. He does impersonations of one Hollywood superstar after the next. As fun as the impersonations were, there were moments where he was deeply emotionally connected. Despite having performed it since April (quite a nice run for these parts), there were times that his face was drenched with tears. At other times he's like a little kid playing in a sandbox.
In these days of so many distractions I always feel so rewarded by the intense focus and energy it takes to perform a one-man play. David made me appreciate it from another angle: I forget it takes focus and energy to follow a one-man play! We become so used to the artists providing all the details, but there's something akin to reading a novel that happens when the brain gets a chance to fill in some of the gaps in solo theatre.
David and his mother, Ellen, chose their cuts judiciously from Christian and Jewish translations of First and Second Samuel, and they've found a great dramatic arc from his confrontation with Goliath to the birth of Solomon. They've interspersed it all with Davidic psalms set to music which delightfully foreshadows the Sanborns' musical, Judah Ben Hur, advertised as coming to Broadway in the fall of 2010.
David and I recently saw Irena's Vow on Broadway. He took inspiration from how Irena's daughter came out and spoke after the play. David (Sanborn) came back after a robust applause to briefly tell how, like King David, his life had been impacted by G-d's relationship with man. He then went on to tell how his own father, Art, had been paralyzed at the same level as Christopher Reeve, but Art now runs six miles a day. Then he invited people to stick around in the lobby (don't miss this!), where they begged him to tell more details. He talked about the accident, the recovery, starting with the miraculous movement of a pinkie, to his three repetitions of one push-up, to his three reps of 50!
When I arrived in Singapore to perform in the world premiere of Judah Ben Hur in 2001 the accident was quite fresh. Everyone was abuzz about his near-drowning and the recovery. I was told that I would have no idea to see him that he had been completely paralyzed below the neck. Because I have experienced miraculous healing in my own body and in the lives of those I know well, I was on high alert. But it wasn't until I was in conversation with him that I discovered that was Art!
The whole story is told in Art's book: Walking Miracle.