by Morgan Lindsey Tachco · August 14, 2014
John Del Vecchio is a shy actor. Or, that’s what he says in the beginning of his debut one-person show, Fearless. He begins by taking us into his classroom – Del Vecchio is an elementary school drama teacher – explaining that although his job is essentially to coax his students out of their shells, he is actually quite fearful. As his story goes on, he takes us into his childhood home, through his early years, laying his behavioral patterns out for us as he is discovering them. He may be shy and fearful in parts of his life and loves, but thankfully for us, he is Fearless on stage.
Del Vecchio is the quintessential ‘performer who should have his own show.’ As a first generation Italian-American and native New Yorker, (depictions of his family are lovingly entertaining), he seems to have a larger than life humor and personality. As big as his personality is, he is adept at inviting the audience in to his vulnerability. His frank discussion of his suicide attempt is veiled in a sort of ‘dumb kid’ jocularity, but it’s when his emotional patterns keep occurring - investing in unattainable women, the circular search for validation – that we can see him wanting to revert into his shell. This isn’t a ‘sad clown’ story, though; Del Vecchio’s skill as an actor brings us into his self-deprecating sense of humor that is more celebratory than destructive; he’s certainly laughing with you as he struggles to learn who he is.
Deftly directed by Sharon Counts, Fearless is an engaging and quite hilarious coming of age (again and again) story, and the perfect introduction to a great performer. Given Del Vecchio’s charisma, charm and captivating storytelling ability, he’ll only get better as he comes into his next age.