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A Whirlwind Ride

June 23, 2015

I diedCyanne McClairian is a whirling dervish of energy and talent in I Died… I Came Back… Whatever. I Died… is Cyanne’s story, a story of how it sometimes takes dying to learn what’s worth living for.

Everyone should have Sir Laurence Olivier emcee their near death experience, call up the ghosts of loved ones to teach us lessons we were too stubborn to learn while alive, or have long forgot. I won’t use the words I have here to talk about these lessons; they are in part Cyanne’s and in part yours. That is the beauty of I Died… it’s not just an evening’s entertainment, you can actually put yourself in Cyanne’s shoes, and learn from her story. It is after all her story, her real story; she did die on the operating table.

Avoiding the lessons, so you can experience them for yourself, and because I can’t do them justice in so few words; what I can speak to is the quality of Cyanne’s performance. It is an amazing performance.

As you enter the theatre Cyanne lies supine on an operating table, there she lies motionless until the show commences. How she stays so still while people find their seats, share greetings exchange hugs is remarkable. It’s like she is dead, only the start of the show can breathe life into her.

As the show starts you hear a recording of the doctors and nurses trying to save her as the “beep beep beep” of her vitals fades. She awakes to find she is no longer in pain, though a bit disoriented, in a wing of the hospital she didn’t know existed. Speaking of wings, were those bats that just flew by. It’s here I should mention that this is a one woman show, in a black box theatre. Aside from a hospital bed, and a few boxes there are no props. The images you see are painted by Cyanne; by her words, and her gestures. She can paint an amazing picture.

You never know what you’ll get with a one person show. Will it be a monologue, a soliloquy, will there be a few characters. Cyanne is an ensemble unto her own, she moves from character to character; from friends, family, doctors, to Sir Laurence Olivier, and others. Each character has it’s own transition, transformation, and affect. Perhapse none more entertaining and regal than Sir Laurence Olivier, as it should be one would think.

To me theatre is best when the world around is suspended, and reality becomes only what is on stage. I Died… I Came Back… Whatever did just this. It feels as if you’re traveling along with Cyanne as she revisits her hardships, and her joys, taking small lessons from each scene. These lessons slowly build until there is a final grand lesson; a lesson that will touch your heart, or Cyanne’s heart. After all she was having heart surgery.

As the story progresses Cyanne portrays herself as bold, progressing to unsure, and eventually hopeful for the future. It’s an overarching journey, the journey of a lifetime almost. A life’s journey in a compressed form. Which is what a near death experience is supposed to be; your life compressed.

If you’re looking for a good laugh, and possibly a potent, poignant, and salient story I Died… I Came Back… Whatever is the Fringe show for you. Hopefully it’ll be extended through the best of Fringe in July, and maybe more.

I Died… I Came Back… Whatever (Written by Cyanne McClairian Directed Jessica Lynn Johnson) by runs through Hollywood Fringe. For more information please visit

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