The pop of a champagne bottle signifies the beginning of the voyage. Welcome aboard! It’s smooth sailing from start to finish, but the journey I’m talking about isn’t on a ship. Well, not literally.
Thomas is Titanic is one man’s recreation of the epic James Cameron movie, exploring pop culture and coming of age in a charming show.
A quick warning: The writer of this review loves, loves, loves “Titanic.” And solo performance work. So it could be a little biased, but Thomas Choinacky’s work is really superb. As audience members walk in, they are greeted with a cup of champagne and a projections show about the Titanic. This fanciful preshow puts the audience in a great mood for Choinacky’s beginning.
As he winds through his story, we hit on many original points. The prayer to Kate Winslet is certainly one, as well as an uproarious graphic showing Choinacky’s chances of marrying her. Moments of genuine, fun audience interaction mixed in with reenactments of scenes from”Titanic” (yes, the nude drawing scene is one, don’t worry). Choinacky’s piece also features the story of his own experiences growing up through the lens of the movie. This keeps the piece fresh and touching, more than just cheap laughs. It was a great story to explore with Choinacky.
His talents as an actor are equally matched. Although there was a sentence or twowhere Choinacky stumbled, he had a glowing energy that kept him dancing around the stage, doing puppet shows, and even capturing the plot of “Titanic” in one minute. The audience was laughing through it all, and Choinacky was captivating. It was impossible to know which madcap scene or ridiculous prop (think Kate Winslet memorial candle) would come next, and he delivered them all beautifully.
Not all of Choinacky’s show was lighthearted. His prowess in including personal touches and multimedia completed the performance. Whether it was a recording of Choinacky and his friends or the endless brilliant projections, each was timed perfectly for laughter and reflection.
It appears that Thomas is Titanic has been in development for several years, and the fine craftsmanship shows in this enjoyable performance. The Titanic may have sunk long ago, but Thomas Choinacky’s story seems to be just beginning.
Julia rates this 4 out of a possible 5.