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One-man show is ‘Fuller’ surprises

If you’re thinking “R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe” sounds a bit dry, you’re not alone. But you are dead wrong.

If you’re thinking “R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe” sounds a bit dry, you’re not alone. But you are dead wrong.

The two-hour, one-man show, currently being staged by the American Repertory Theater, is one of the liveliest, most engaging, thought-provoking productions you may ever see. Turns out Bucky was not only an inventor, visionary, scientist and environmentalist long before it was fashionable, but he was also delightfully eccentric.

Thomas Derrah captures his spirited essence and zest for life in an extraordinary performance that will leave you wishing you’d actually known the man. Whether lecturing, playing with triangles, or enthusiastically delivering his spiritually-based theories of existence, Derrah’s Bucky embraces life with the zeal of a kid on Christmas morning.

Believing failure is an essential part of life, Bucky almost boasts about being expelled from Harvard, twice. He speaks with such wonder about his shift in perspective when he started wearing glasses and could actually see for the first time that you might feel deprived for not having this sensory awakening.

But all of your senses will be invigorated by this wonderful, sometimes challenging, but always delightful evening of theater.

The father of invention?

With a glint in his eye and a spring in his step, Bucky gleefully explains some of his greatest inventions like the geodesic dome, pictured, a modular home that can be airlifted and an energy efficient car (unheard of in 1933). He happily professes his belief that “there is no up or down” and easily convinces you that “the wind does not blow, it sucks.”


 
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