In Human Identity, Vened's solo investigation into the question of what it means to be human, the 62-year-old performer demonstrates little of his former dexterity, discipline or visual invention. Instead, he delivers a halting hybrid performance that, for lack of a better word, might be called "talking mime."
An interweaving of whimsy, slapstick and some occasionally overfamiliar Marcel Marceau-esque clowning tropes with Discovery Channel–grade anthropological speculation, the 90-minute show is most poignant when Vened touches on his own middle-aged mortality and most tantalizing when it skirts but doesn't quite penetrate the more philosophically compelling conundrum of subjectivity -- the nature of "I" in the assertion "I am my own self."
Nevertheless, the self-described "work in progress" still has miles to go -- both in staging polish and in offering a more deeply personal answer to the show's most intriguing question of identity: Who is Christopher Vened?
HUMAN IDENTITY | By Christopher Vened | The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd. | Through Feb. 9 | (323) 960-5773, bit.ly/laweeklyhuman