new-york

Frank Maya

P. S. 122

In his show here, Frank Maya told the audience that he started as a rock singer, then began to do what he calls “rants.” He suddenly became known as a performance artist (“I didn’t even know what it was but I said, ‘Fine, give me a grant’”), then as a comedian. While Maya is definitely funny, more often than not his work takes on serious subjects. Child abuse, racial inequities in systems of representation, societal barriers for Jewish performers a few decades ago or for gay performers today—these are loaded topics that Maya negotiates with the sensibility of an amusing philosopher. His manner of delivery makes us realize that some of these issues have been so over-discussed by the liberal press that we may end up knowing all the right intellectual arguments, but lose emotional perspective on their complex content. Maya uses humor to dislodge such issues from our heads and drop them back

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