My name is Hokusai too
Original text: José Emilio Hernández Martín. Adaptation: Tomás Masariche and Iván Hochman.
Address: Tomás Masariche.
Performer: Ivan Hochman.
Video and sound design: Maga Clavijo.
Scenography and costumes: Laura Copertino.
Lighting: Matías Sendón.
Theatre: El Picadero, Pje. Enrique Santos Discépolo 1857.
Functions: Wednesdays, at 10 p.m.
Duration: 95 minutes.
Although the show begins alluding to his work in the series El amor después del amor, and he even sings and commands keyboards live, in the manner Fito Páez, Iván Hochman in My name is Hokusai does not go through usufructing the image of the musician he gives life in the Netflix shipment or paying homage to him. It’s just an introduction, funny and relaxed, in which he confesses his fear of being “stuck” to the character, like Daniel Radcliffe and Elijah Wood with Harry Potter and Frodo Baggins; and takes sides with Robert Pattinson, the protagonist of the Twilight saga, “who knew how to turn his career around on time”.
Having said all that, and at the request of an important plastic artist who recommends that he take advantage of his five minutes of fame to create a one-man show that allows him to display his “true acting skills”, Hochman comes up with an idea as crazy as it is dangerous: stealing from The Art Institute of Chicago the painting “The Great Wave”, by the eminent Japanese engraver of the Edo period Katsushika Hokusai, famous for discarding his works by throwing them into the ocean. And for what? To try to win back his girlfriend, María, a geologist by profession, who abandoned him and went abroad to detect the movement of tectonic plates in time and thus save the world.
My name is Hokusai too is also the story of a nameless writer who is sorry for the absence of his beloved and who, sunk in the deepest sadness, decides to use his prose to summon her again. Since he never manages to write anything, his company is not successful and everything turns into a parody. In this way, the complex text by José Emilio Hernández Martín is transformed into a kind of Chinese box game, with one argument “embedded” inside the other, until it merges into one (but not before generating some confusion, it must be admitted).
In short, that’s what it’s all about My name is Hokusai too. But that is not the important thing, here what counts are the themes that arise throughout the adventures of the protagonist: love, friendship, success, failure and the search for a personal purpose, which can also modify the world. All very important items for generation Z that feels desolation and misunderstanding very intensely. And in this sense, it could be said that the show fulfills its mission: the public, notoriously young (18 to 30 years old), is absolutely identified with the proposal (even with its less clear areas), because it responds effusively to each of the occurrences of Hochman’s character, as if they were all Hokusai, that helpless and sensitive being (and also somewhat tortured) who only calls for love.
Towards the end, the one-man show becomes a play for two characters when the director of the herself, Tomás Masariche, who “steals” stardom from Hochman in the role of the friend willing to be an accomplice in the theft. It is undoubtedly one of the funniest moments of the proposal, which, however, could use a deep synthesis, let’s say a few minutes less in length. Thus, the proposal that draws a lot from the stand-up genre and even reserves a space for the participation of some spectators, would be more effective. As for Hochman, if his objective was to show a broader interpretive arc than the one that allowed him to develop the role of Fito Páez in El amor después del amor, he can rest easy: here he not only looks sensitive, melancholic and nostalgic (when corresponds and in its fair measure) but also hilarious, charismatic and histrionic. A star Is Born?