This festival-sodden spring offers an intriguing new arrival: Bodies of Work showcases the work of disabled visual and performing artists and explores more generally issues of disability in culture and the arts. Two exemplary performers will appear at the MCA as part of the eleven-day festival. This weekend, Lynn Manning will present his solo show “Weights.” Manning, a former painter blinded twenty-five years ago in a barroom shooting, may not look or sound much like Helen Keller, but his story has no shortage of small miracles. Strikingly, Manning takes the loss of his vision in stride; a foster child separated from his alcoholic mother at the age of nine, he learned early to cope with profound and unjust loss. His blindness brought unexpected gifts, as a whole new world of unexplored senses opened up before him. The sonic and kinesthetic density of this new life is mirrored in Manning’s show; he punctuates his crisply told and often bitterly funny autobiographical narrative with spare movements and a rich, blues-inflected musical score. Charismatic and determined to avoid self-pity, Manning leaves his audience eagerly awaiting the next installment of his story. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.