-----------------------"as scary as the nightly news" New York Magazine--------------------














Major support for this work comes from The Jerome Foundation, MN.,

the generous funding of the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, Inc., and

The Harkness Foundation for Dance

This work has been co-commissioned by The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art,

by The Joyce Theater’s Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work,

and by Performance Space 122, New York with funds from the Jerome Foundation.

This work was also made possible by space grants from the 92nd Street Y-

Harkness Dance Center, and by the Chashama Free Space Program 2002

Goldhubris is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). NYFA is a 501(c)3, tax-exempt organization founded in 1971 to work with the arts community throughout New York State to develop and facilitate programs in all disciplines.  

Made possible by the following contributors:

Gretchen Bender, Neil & Philipa Clewner, Paul and Sheila Cohen, Celia Cooke & Jed Distler, Eleanor Danziger, Devon Engel & Julie Landman, Wilma Friedman, Keely Garfield, Ed & Susan Gitkind, Jerry Goldhuber, Stephanie Goldhuber, Sara Gordon, Jeffrey Goria, Mary Gridley, Eleanor Haray, Bruce Imber, Bill T. Jones & Bjorn Amelan, Julian Kaplin, Joan Katter, H. Jinder Khurana, Doris Klapper, Millie & Harvey Knecht, Robert LaFosse, Robert Landman, Claire Leffel, Lolita Lesheim & Matthew Panschar, Marvin & Alice Levine, Cara Levinson, Marijeanne Liederbach, Janet Lilly, Michael & Andrea Marsh, Eric Menkes, Ben Munisteri, Ray & Fran Osinoff, Susan & Shelly Osinoff, David Parker, Amy Ragsdale, Nicolas Ramirez, Odile Reine-Adelaide, Jeanette Resnick, Nathan & Bunny Ritzer, Bea Scherer, Kevin Scherer & Shari Vice, Benedicta Schwager, Sidney Schwager, Janice Shapiro & Susan Murphy, Cindy Sherman, Jack Sparrow, Janet Stapleton, Diane Storin, Rose Storin, Kathleen Supove’, Anita Tierney, Laurie Uprichard, Valeria Vasilevski & Phillip Trimble, David Weiss, Micki Wesson, Marian Williams, Wallie Wolfgruber, Janet Wong, Andrea E. Woods

Very Special Thanks to:

Robert Wierzel, Stanley Moss, Mark Russell (PS 122), Erin Boberg and Kristy Edmunds(PICA), Linda Shelton and Martin Wechsler (Joyce Theater Fdn), Julie Atlas Muz and Anita Durst (Chashama), Joan Finklestein and Edward Henkel (92nd St. Y), Robert Byrd (Jerome), Theodore Bartwink (Harkness), Jane B. Heilbron, Julie Ana Dobo, Elizabeth Gaines, Susan O’Leary and Michael Mohan at Fox Searchlight Films, Keely Garfield, Valentine Ortolaza, James Harris, Sunda Croonquist, Tom Eubanks for the original title, Joan Duddy, Dona Ann McAdams, Eddi Wolk, Claire Leffel, Ellen Jacobs, Bill T. Jones, Laurie Uprichard, Rachel Chanoff , Jerome Goldhuber, Diane Storin, Gretchen Bender, Mitchell Wagenberg, Janet Stapleton, Caterina Bartha, Paul Lazar, David Dorfman, Elizabeth Keen, and Gus Solomons Jr., Jane Hamsher, Rebecca Howard, Carl and Nic at The Puffin Room, Derek Lloyd, and Katy Eggleton. 

By Laura Shapiro

We may be having a cold winter, but with so much political hot air swirling around, it’s as if the whole nation were trapped under some vast, puffy quilt stuffed with rhetoric. The piety and patriotism, the hands on the heart, the earnest analyses and reassessments and scrutinizing of campaign declarations so vacuous they defy the laws of chemistry—thank goodness all this stuff provides one useful service, namely supplying a perfect context for Lawrence Goldhuber’s new theater piece at P.S. 122.

Everything about The Life and Times of Barry Goldhubris is oversize except the work itself, which is quite concise: It runs less than an hour and has a cast of one. But that one is Goldhuber, and the guy fills a room just by showing up. For years he was an enormous, unforgettable presence in the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company; more recently he’s been choreographing and performing on his own.

Life and Times, written and directed by Goldhuber and David Brooks, is a kind of biopic in which he plays America itself. Framed by video footage on three screens, Goldhuber contains multitudes. First he personifies a mythological birth, diving into the world as the heavens shake; then he’s the star in a living-my-dream success story; and when that story ends in a locked ward, he becomes all the demons racketing through his own brain. Huge video images of his face assail him as he rolls on the floor in a straitjacket shouting, "Why does everything happen to me, me, me?"

That cry—Me, me, me—may be the most nakedly American moment in the piece. There are plenty of cultural references here, from the highway footage onscreen to Goldhuber’s desperate mumble, "Be all you can be I can’t believe it’s not butter it’s the real thing where’s the beef?" But more telling than any of these is simply Goldhuber, embodying a narcissism as big as the world. In a final, raging dance, he struggles to get his giant self out of that straitjacket, then bursts free singing "Only in America." It’s as scary as the nightly news.

by Deborah Jowitt
February 11 - 17, 2004

Lawrence Goldhuber is carving out a career in solo performance. In The Life and Times of Barry Goldhubris (written with David Brooks), he uses his own family pictures and his friends disguised as talking heads to spin a tale of his seriously flawed hero's rise from an immigrant family through flamboyant entrepreneurial success (bowling alleys and linked diners) to corporate greed and political chicanery, and finally to dementia. "Only in America," says a voice.

Brooks's films (along with astutely chosen pieces of music) skillfully enrich the story, provide locales, and emphasize points, beginning with the camera's heroic entry from outer space into the family that spawned this garden-variety moral monster. Goldhuber appears live in only a few vignettes: his bulky form nearly nude in a storm of glittering leaves; his light-footed dance as a janitor romancing a mop (Barry's granddad?); his bellowed speech about how to get rich and be loved; and his final terrifying sequence in a straitjacket. As he dances maniacally or struggles to get loose, on surrounding screens the heads of three giant alter egos argue in rapid-fire sallies and interruptions that build a suffocating rhythm. By the end there are nine heads, and some of the voices aren't Goldhuber's; in the mélange of rants, we recognize our own Goldhubrian officeholders.

In a way, I wanted to see Goldhuber live at more stages of his persona's career instead of grinning and waving on-screen, but the length and horrid intensity of the "how to succeed" speech and the psychotic struggle with his inner selves made their points in ways no shorter sequences could.

Goldhuber, Uchizono offer festival magic

The Time-Based Art Festival crackled into action Friday night with several important shows. Two of them repeat Sunday- a Lawrence Goldhuber performance piece about the disintegration of a wealthy man and a dizzying world premiere by choreographer Donna Uchizono.

Lawrence Goldhuber’s show was one of the festival’s most anticipated events, primarily because of his visits to Portland with Bill T. Jones’ stereotype-shattering dance company. In those shows, Goldhuber was the very big man whose portliness became an asset in the hands of a great choreographer.

Goldhuber’s solo piece "The Life and Times of Barry Goldhubris" mixes David Brook’s projected film images with performance bits by Goldhuber. The two don’t fit together especially well (until the end, at least), and the story they tell doesn’t track clearly. But there are compensations, primarily funny ones.

Brooks’ mock biopic of the wealthy but increasingly demented Barry Goldhubris is satisfyingly absurd, caturing the popular TV fascination with wealth, the mob, political intrigue and personal disaster all in one character. And the British narrator is a nice touch.

In two scenes after the biopic (which concludes with the idea that Barry has gone bonkers `a la Howard Hughes), we encounter Goldhuber as Barry. First, he’s an inspirational speaker whom the audience has presumably paid to see. His message: sell out; brand yourself; think sponsorship; fake vulnerability. It’s a good parody that he pushes to the breaking point--self-exposure and self-loathing.

Which leads to the second section. Now he’s a mental patient wrapped in a straitjacket confronted by images of himself on three surrounding walls, images that talk to him, argue with him, channel audio bits from the past (Nixon, Brando, Gable, among others), torture him. All the while, he wrestles inside the straitjacket trying to free himself.

Here, screen and performance mesh well for the first time, and "Barry Goldhubris" takes off.       September 14, 2003



Lawrence Goldhuber, the biggest man in modern dance, is perhaps most renowned for his performances with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. He was hired in the mid-80s, a time he recounts, "when a lot of people were coming to New York to reinvent themselves."

He joined the company, in a way, to help himself come out.

"They were so radically gay back then," Goldhuber recalled.

His pride as a performer comes from that legacy, and from his contributions to Jones' seminal works like "Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin" and "Still/Here." Goldhuber has been performing and been successful at it for a long time, including a much-praised partnership with fellow Jones/Zane dancer Heidi Latsky that dissolved sourly, and a ten-year relationship appearing in the "sinister slapstick" work of Keely Garfield. For this self-proclaimed "dancing bear," who has of late become a hot commodity on the Internet dating circuit, performing solo--despite appearances--is not about ego.

"It's horribly lonely to do a show alone," Goldhuber said. "Performing solo is lonely. Being backstage, waiting to go on is not so much fun."

"But," he was quick to add, "it's easier to do a solo show than to risk another bad break up."

Goldhuber's latest creation, originally presented at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts (PICA), is a kind of behind the scenes biography story, a tongue-in-cheek mockumentary of the rise and fall of motivational speaker Barry Goldhubris.

"I'm a sell-out, a suck-up. Learn to fake sincerity and you'll have it made." These are the mantras of the imaginary Mr. G.

 Like his last show at PS 122 in 2001, "When the World Smells Like Bacon," humor and pathos combine to produce an unexpectedly moving and slightly sad portrait of a man. But unlike "Bacon," which was autobiographical--"an honest show," Larry calls it--this show is about a completely fictional character. "It's all a lie!" Goldhuber declared with glee.

While the real Mr. G. enjoys the newfound relative freedoms of working alone, he likes to collaborate on the creation of his works. Filmmaker David Brooks co-wrote and co-directed "The Life and Times of Barry Goldhubris." (Josh Harnett's first on-screen appearance was in a short by Brooks.)

The set features three screens, nine feet high by 25 feet wide, with the panels arranged like a tri-fold mirror. With material shot from three different angles, the combined visuals produce a cinemascope or IMAX-like effect.

"The film," Goldhuber said, "acts as both a backdrop and as narrative device for moving the story ahead."

When he is on stage dancing or doing monologues, the images are static. When he is offstage, the moving images are designed to generate emotional impact. Interview subjects, including Big Dance Theater's Paul Lazar as historian, Gus Solomons Jr. as CEO, David Dorfman as Barry's best friend in high school, and Juilliard's Elizabeth Keen as Governess, are presented TV style.

With a running time under an hour, the work is dense, tracing the character's history from his humble youth, where he dances an homage to Gene Kelly with mop and pail in an abattoir. The "Howard Hughes ending" portrays Barry in a straitjacket, with giant versions of his own disembodied heads shouting at himself, a segment he describes as "too scary for Keely's son to watch."

"My goal," Goldhuber said, "is to make an entertaining show. If it reaches art, even better."