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Interview: Wallace Shawn's Real World

Wallace Shawn, courtesy Katie Sokoler / Gothamist.
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Wallace Shawn has the face of an aging angel, which has borne itself onto screen in well-remembered roles in The Princess Bride, Manhattan, and Clueless. Yet, on stage, Shawn is a sharp-witted maestro of the theatrical arena, having collected an Obie award and many adoring fans for his thought-provoking, politically-driven pieces. In some cases, such as his one-man monologue The Fever, Shawn strips down the essence of the theatre itself, preferring to stage the show in living rooms and other close quarters.

LAist was fortunate to catch up with Shawn as he prepared for his upcoming show at UCLA's Royce Hall on Saturday, January 22nd. This will mark the premiere of his newest show Real World, Fake World, Dream World, which presents a collection of some of Shawn's favorite written pieces, as well as a few 'scraps' from other writers he enjoys.

LAist: What exactly can we expect from Real World, Fake World, Dream World?

Wallace Shawn: Well, let’s not exaggerate. It is merely a man reading from a book. This is what the audience will see. Actually, I will read from several pieces of paper comprising a whole lifetime of work. So, in a way, it’s a man reading out of book. Another way of looking at it would be a man looking at the wreckage of his entire life and wondering ‘what was that’? What did it add up to? It’s entirely possible that you’ll see a human being falling apart on stage at the realization of what it all came to.