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Reviews & Testimonials
“hilarious, heartwarming and harrowing”
I had the pleasure of being at the very first "preliminary" reading of THE BOY ON THE BUREAU last year, as well as the "official" first reading in January. I will also be there again this Saturday. I've felt honored to have had the opportunity to see the development of this project and HIGHLY RECOMMEND it! THE BOY ON THE BUREAU is hilarious, heartwarming and harrowing - a thought-provoking theatre piece that will stay with you long afterwards. Bravo Lon! Today you are a writer!
Susan M., actor Aug. 18, 2016
“Lon Blais brilliantly brings life and color into a family that, as it appears, was black and white”
... an amazing odyssey through the life of a very large family, the labyrinth of dysfunction, and overcoming upbringing, merging the strengths and learning from the weaknesses. Lon Blais brilliantly brings life and color into a family that, as it appears, was black and white. The different types of love, anger, and forgiveness experienced by both parents and siblings - this only child had a brief glimpse into an incredible family.
Aug. 18, 2016
“Truly beautiful. “
Sad throughout and then delivers joy in Blais’ confidence to free himself of his creations and find happiness in the truth of the life he went on to build as a man. Truly beautiful. Moving and exposed my shaky realities and misperceptions at the same time.
Aug. 18, 2016
“Whatever Lon Blais does, he is a teacher. “The Boy on the Bureau” teaches too..”
Whatever Lon Blais does, he is a teacher. "The Boy on the Bureau" teaches too.. It is kind of "The Addams Family" meets the Walton with motorcycles. Make no mistake this family of nine siblings is unique. But anyone can find themselves and family members through the laughter, lies, and tears.
Melissa Rea, author of “Conjuring Casanova” Aug. 18, 2016
“Many versions of truth”
....a fascinating exploration on one complicated family and their many versions of truth.
Aug. 18, 2016
“Over a decade later I am still learning from Mr. Blais”
I had no idea what to expect from the play. I just wanted to support one of the best English teachers I ever had. Based on the title as well as current events, I thought it was going to have something to do with the government. I hate politics so I was pleasantly surprised. It was an authentic and an emotional piece that was highly relatable to anyone with a dysfunctional family. I am drawn to any sublimation of pain so I very much enjoyed it. He mentioned a paper in which he had to write about his "proudest moment" and I recall writing the same paper about a different lie. It is a beautiful thing that over a decade later I am still learning from Mr. Blais (who I will literally never feel comfortable referring to as Lon).
Aug. 18, 2016
“It is so cleverly crafted … It is heart-wrenching and heartwarming, it is funny and sad.”
The Boy on the Bureau is a remarkable story, one that you take with you as you leave the theater. It would be easy to simply take this tragic plot and throw it onto an autobiographical canvas; that alone would gain sympathy from the audience and be a good story. But what Lon Blais crafts into his telling of his story, is so much more than that. It is so cleverly crafted -- Blais tells you off the bat that you there are at least as many versions of the truth as there are siblings- nine, and then goes on to tell you a story that is at times almost unbelievable. You want to believe it, you do believe it, but you can't help but think in the back of your mind that there are at least 8 other versions of this story as he will remind you at all the right moments. And, as the self-proclaimed favorite child, you begin to realize he might be the best story-teller of 9 siblings as well, which then in turn ironically brings you back to his opening disclaimer. The acting is also so clever -- one of the most profound moments is when he puts a picture of himself on the bureau. In the end, the performance is so brutally honest and personal that it dispels any doubts whatsoever that he is pulling your leg (though the “No-L" story is almost too good to be true) but he leaves it open that this is just one man's point of view and delivers it with just enough arrogance that you realize that no matter which version of the story you are getting, he really is the boy on the bureau and you understand why at least some of his siblings take issue with this. The delivery is nothing short of marvelous. This is not simply a story about one man escaping dysfunction, this is a well crafted lesson in perspectives, a story that really makes the audience think and question what they are hearing. It is heart-wrenching and heartwarming, it is funny and sad. Most importantly, it reminds you that no matter which perspective you take, the actions of your teachers (in his case, a guidance counselor) can change lives.
Aug. 18, 2016
“Lon Blais is a terrific storyteller”
Lon Blais is a terrific storyteller who brings an astonishing authenticity and vulnerability to his work. He starts by letting us know that he’s a storyteller in more ways than one -- the stories he tells to friends, students and audiences on the one hand, and the stories he tells himself on the other -- which sometimes bleed into one another. He makes it clear that he knows that there are as many or more versions of “the truth” as there are players in his stories, and the players are plentiful -- his parents, enough siblings to start a softball team, his wife, and more. Lon sets up the rich, complex dynamics of a large, dysfunctional family filled with jealousies and envies large and small, backstabbing, decades-long withholds, and webs of deceit. Lon’s family members are, of course, strangers to us. By the end of the performance, we’re no longer strangers, and we’ve come to know Lon on an incredibly intimate basis. While the stories are enough to make a worthwhile evening and could be the stuff of a movie or miniseries, it is the emotional connection that makes this work, even in its nascent and raw stage, a compelling work. Blais apparently surprised even himself in his audience reveals, taking himself as well as the audience to tears at times, and yet finding the nuggets of humor in a sad, disturbing autobiographical work. The lone set piece is an actual bureau from his childhood home (and the bureau of the title) that plays a pivotal, metaphorical part in the show. The Boy on the Bureau has a deep resonance. Lies, questions, memories all contribute to the yearning of this play.
Aug. 18, 2016