From hoodlum to hell to hero: George Christie‘s “Outlaw – one man show” @ the Whitefire Theatre

Just thinking of the image of Hells Angels, and the following instantly comes to mind: rough and tumble , leather , tattoos , muscles, bandanas, motorcycles, menacing. All that… and much, much more were part of the lifeblood, sweat and tears journey of former Hells Angel George Christie, as he shares his gritty, heart wrenching tale onstage at the Whitefire in “Outlaw,” his one man show, written and directed by Robert LaPlante; and produced by Charles Lago. Born to a family that were embraced as immigrants (so unlike the America today), George grew up in a respectable middle class family right here in the San Fernando valley, but something about gangs and the ‘bad boy’ reputation of the Ventura club of Hells Angels drew him in. His solo show tells his true story on his own terms, following his three successful books and a History Channel Series. First off, the music preceding the actual show definitely sets the tone and feel of the story: songs such as “It Ain’t Easy,” “Born on a Bayou,” and “I feel Trouble on the Way” are more than foreshadowing. The show then begins with raw footage and news headlines of various incidents and infamous events of the California region of Hells Angels, this motorcycle band of brothers. George Christie bared his soul with his “three strikes and you’re out,” landing him in jail, more than once; and how he often felt the world’s message was “us vs. George Christie, like the whole entire country had a problem with him. He showed a slide of his lonely looking, bare isolated cell, while serving solitary confinement. He stated in one of his many eloquent monologues, “you’re not sure if you’ll land on your feet… but somehow you do.” This show(and Christie’s life) comes full circle, taking place at one of the finest regional theatre spaces LA has to offer, the Whitefire right here in Sherman Oaks, Christie’s stomping grounds. George Christie, now a family man; husband and father, far removed from his haunting past, yet always present to some degree. He recalls the magical, mesmerizing pull that the clubhouse meetings of Hells Angels had on him, “it was a dangerous, yet magic place, where time stood still, where I felt invincible, ‘bullet-proof ,’ among the comraderie of my rider brothers.” It seemed to George a place of intrigue, where you don’t ask questions and you forget for a moment the PTSD as a returning vet. It was here that young George forgot the shame of poverty of his childhood, and had a chance to prove that he’d follow his leader’s word ‘as law,’ and shine like an ‘ever burning candle.’ Christie’s way with words and such visual metaphors is a highlight of his performance, as the audience can literally envision every scenario he portrays. 100% kudos are in order for George Christie, as he takes on a most sensitive, once taboo subject matter, almost considered cult like at one time in history. Of particular sentimental note is when Christie’s own son has notions of joining the group, and Much like the lyrics of “Cat’s in the Cradle ,” the audience can visualize “when you coming home dad, I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son…” Hells Angels was always known as an organization you didn’t want to cross, because it could potentially mean deep trouble or even the end of your life. “Outlaw” gives us an inside peek, a bird’s eye view, as it were, a revealing, hard hitting memoir brought to life onstage.

Through August 24
Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays 8pm
Whitefire Theatre 13500 Ventura Blvd
For tickets :
(213)713-9149
Or
http://www.clagoproductions.com
http://www.georgechristieoutlaw.com

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About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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