No Man’s Land – A One-Man Show: Laughing, Undressing on Stage, Meditation, Awkward Dancing …
Yes, this show has it all.
Ah dating. We’ve all done it, we’ve all had some doozies along the way but one thing’s for sure: we ALL have a few worthy stories to share but none quite as impacting as Comedian, Rajiv Satyal whose “solo show about being solo”, No Man’s Land touches on the impending woes of not only dating but dating in a culture that requires certain, well, requirements. Rajiv delves right into his first childhood crush and from that point on we are taken on his romantic journeys over the last three decades. The highs the lows, the cultural implications of “finding a wife” suitable to familial obligations, all done in a way that makes you laugh AND think. No Man’s Land is an incumbent look at love, our innate need to find someone to share our lives with, and the internal struggle with choosing out of our own desires complicated by society and tradition. With two sold out shows in Los Angeles and New York, I was particularly excited to see Rajiv perform in San Francisco. When I arrived at the Creativity Theater, almost every seat was already taken and the line out the door indicated a show completely sold out. And it was. As the crowd settled and Rajiv made his way through the curtain and into the red chair situated in the staged “apartment”, there was an immediate pull to his story. An Indian kid from Cincinnati looking for that one special girl – even as a child. Directed by Samara Bay, this 80-minute performance never once left you hoping it was going to end. With funny bits that had the crowd roaring, moments where Rajiv interacts directly with the audience, and about 5 wardrobe changes – ON STAGE – you get the gnawing sensation that this man has undergone cataclysmic change throughout his thirty something years. It’s a beautiful story about hope, a hysterical self deprecating view on the quest for a soul mate, and a thought provoking tale of dispelling the myth that in India, everyone just gets married, settles down, and begins to live their mapped out lives. In the midst of some hearty belly laughs, the reality that Rajiv certainly has given dating a fair shot – dating at least over 100 women from every culture and background thus far – and introspective topics, it brought up a very interesting (and rather untouched topic in the world of media): There is an entire movement happening in the Indian community. Indian Comedian Aziz Ansari is doing a tour the week prior to Rajiv’s next performance of “No Man’s Land” in Cincinnati on April 19th. Ironically, both comedians are discussing “LOVE” and relationships. Where the story is – well, there is a HUGE surge of Indians unable to have successful relationships or “find a partner”. In spite of the arranged marriages, cultural traditions, and the like it is becoming increasingly difficult to have successful relationships. It seems the societal epidemic of unsuccessful relationships isn’t simply localized to the Western world. It seems the search for love has become a sort of global pandemic. Rajiv Satyal delivers a standup performance full of laughs, intellect, passion, raw candor, and emotional swell. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing this show becoming a regular TV show. It has all the makings of a great story: inner conflict, comedy, culture, love, and of course, self deprecation.
For a list of Upcoming Shows, visit:
Photographs by Dawn Garcia. Click on each image for larger resolution.
Rajiv Satyal’s show “No Man’s Land” has already had 2 sell-out performances in LA, NY, and San Francisco!
Rajiv opened for Dave Chappelle‘s very first show after his Africa excursion. Rajiv has toured with Tim Allen, Kevin Nealon, and Russell Peters. He co-founded the world-touring “Make Chai Not War”, a stand-up show that traversed seven Indian cities in 2012, sponsored by the U.S. State Dept, mentioned on Capitol Hill, and covered on NPR’s “All Things Considered”. Rajiv has garnered 3 million+ YouTube views, performed on 3 continents, and has been featured on NBC and Nickelodeon, as well as in The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, and the Huffington Post.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/22/2014
Comedian’s One-Man Show is Ploy to Meet Women. Seriously.
(LOS ANGELES, CA) – Throughout his adult life, Rajiv Satyal — as a highly paid corporate executive and, later, as a comedian — has dated about 100 women from virtually every socioeconomic background. Despite his smoothest efforts, not one has ever worked out. Now, he is getting ready to explore the “it’s-not-you-it’s-me” syndrome in his new one-person show, No Man’s Land.
After sold-out performances in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, Satyal is bringing the show home to Cincinnati, for one night only – April 19 – at the Aronoff Center in Downtown Cincinnati.
“This is a bit different from what I ordinarily do, because it’s more theatre than stand-up comedy,” Satyal said. “But don’t worry, it’ll still be funny. Anything based on my dating life would have to be. In standup, you’re chasing only the laugh. Theatre allows a performer to sprinkle in some sadness, mix it up with some anger, and add a dash of self-reflection. And if you haven’t seen a five-and-a-half-foot Indian man throw a fit, you haven’t lived. So, singles or couples or groups (if that’s your thing), come and celebrate not being me.”
Satyal, who formerly worked for Procter & Gamble, often bases his comedy on real-life experiences. With No Man’s Land, he is looking for answers from the audience as much as he offers his own theories and hard-earned wisdom about what went wrong with his relationships.
Among topics covered are:
– Losing a girl at a Halloween party not because of his ridiculous costume but how he danced to a teen pop song
– Spending two decades in the “friend” zone
– The differences between manhood and “guyhood”
– How a crush cost him $12,000
– Opening for Dave Chappelle at University of Cincinnati and Newport Funny Bone
– Doing karaoke on a local radio station (in front of a thousand kids) to win over his crush
– The girl who threw up in his car and her father who helped clean it up
– How Procter & Gamble may be able to help him with his dating life
“The basic question is, ‘Why am I still single?’” Satyal said. “Maybe I’ll get lucky, and the right woman will be in the crowd. That’s the plan. I mean, that’s not the plan. That would be weird. But kind of awesome, let’s face it.”
Fortunately, Satyal has proven to be more popular among fellow performers than with the ladies. He has opened many times for such legendary comedians as Kevin Nealon, Dave Chappelle, Kevin James, Tim Allen and others.
In 2008, Satyal teamed up with Muslim comedian Azhar Usman to create a multicultural comedy show titled Make Chai Not War. It was so popular among diverse ethnicities that the U.S. State Department sent Satyal and his partners on a comedy tour of India in 2012. Since then, the tour has repeatedly been criticized on Capitol Hill and in the news media by U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) as a waste of tax dollars. The trip was intended to be good diplomacy for America. For Satyal, it turned into something more.
“We were interviewed by this really pretty entertainment reporter,” he said. “I got her number and we started dating. We carried on a long-distance relationship for a while. I flew back to visit her. We went for romantic elephant rides. That’s what you do in India. I was really into her, but, of course, it didn’t work out. I hope Rand Paul’s next presidential campaign goes over as well as that relationship.”
No Man’s Land will be on Saturday, April 19, at the Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Performance: 8:00 p.m. Tickets: $29.50 (total). For more information, visit www.nomanslandshow.com.
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