Audiences are encouraged to “Move” with one man show

Mike Largent presents "Move: A Mountain Goat's Monologue" as part of ASU's The Final Bow

Trade in the stage lights, makeup and costumes for short-shorts and Doritos. Mike Largent’s “Move: A Mountain Goat’s Monologue” is not what many consider a normal theater performance.

The one-man show, written and starring Largent, is part of The Final Bow, the ASU's Master of Fine Arts in Performance Final Project Festival.

The Final Bow is a collection of applied projects that the graduating cohort of directors, performers and playwrights create as their culminating work at ASU, much like a thesis.

The show opened to a sold out house on Saturday. There will be two more performances on Feb. 11. and 18., at 7 p.m. in the Nelson Fine Arts Center, Studio 133.

Largent, with his signature mustache, is a familiar face in the ASU theater department.

While he said he is usually a “go-to” for physically comedic roles, he also played Stanley in last year’s “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

Largent says he began real work on the project a year ago.

“It started off as my desire to combine my otherwise separate identities as a theatrical performer and mountain athlete,” Largent said.

“Audiences who do these moves, these activities, don’t see a lot of theater and people who see a lot of theater aren’t much in the mountains, so it was exciting for me to do both of those things in one performance.”

As the only performer in the show, Largent walks the audience through his biggest “move” — referring to a series of four 14,000-feet peaks he trained for and climbed at the Missouri Gulch/Elkhead Pass.

The show utilizes monologue, finger puppets, video projections and a spot-on Werner Herzog impression.

Through stunts, multimedia and movements, Largent recreates the personal and often dangerous challenges climbing has put him through, resulting in a largely physical show, he said.

“At the beginning of a lot of theatrical rehearsal processes, directors will warn their cast and say, ‘This is going to be a very physical show,'” Largent said. 

“I have to hold back my laughter. In this show, I can legitimately say that it is very physical.”

Jesse Hixson, a first year MFA student in the arts entrepreneurship and management program, served as producer.

Hixson took care of ticketing, marketing and rehearsal schedules, allowing Largent and Phil Weaver-Stoesz, the director, to focus on the actual show.

Hixson said he was attracted to the production because of the experience it would provide as well as the unique performance and comedic premises which attract a wide audience.

“I think people have preconceived notions about what they’re going to see when they walk into a theatrical space,” Hixson said.

“This lends itself to something different and you’re more likely to enjoy this because of the comedy and physicality of the performance.”

Keena Huesby was in attendance. As a sophomore majoring in theater with a concentration in acting, she was attracted to the show because of Largent’s previous work and its one-man-show premise.

“It wasn’t what I expected, but it was better,” Huesby said. “I feel like this was so deeply personal at one point, it was almost as if it wasn’t a play anymore, but that’s just great acting. It was incredible, really.”

Patrick Askins, a filmmaking practices student in Largent's acting introduction class, also attended opening night. 

“I knew he had been working really hard on this performance so I had to come see it,” Askins said. “I would tell people it’s a very well told story that’s entertaining, touching and all around a great night of entertainment.”

The show will continue the next two weekends, Saturday, Feb. 11. and Saturday, Feb. 18. Tickets are free and available for reservation online.

Guests are encouraged to get their tickets in advance as seating is limited.

As for what can guests can expect to take with them after the show, Largent pointed to the show’s name, “Move.”

“I hope that people see it and are encouraged to continue moving in whatever direction they need to,” Largent said.

“It’s funny.”

Reach the reporter at or follow @carsonmlnarik on Twitter.

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