Home » Uncategorized » ‘Hey, Hey, LBJ!’ — What the Critics’ Say — And Other Media Coverage

‘Hey, Hey, LBJ!’ — What the Critics’ Say — And Other Media Coverage

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* “Hey, Hey, LBJ! is as polished and moving a piece of theater as the Capital Fringe is likely to see this year (out of 119 shows).” – Rachel Weiner, Washington Post

 Monologuing in D.C. is usually a young person’s game — 20- and 30-somethings dishing about sexual hijinks and embarrassing job interviews at U Street bar competitions. David Kleinberg’s “Hey, Hey, LBJ” is something else entirely. A 70-minute trip through his experience as a combat correspondent in Vietnam, the one-man show is as polished and moving a piece of theater as Capital Fringe is likely to see this year.

David Kleinberg Mug

Ex-combat correspondent David Kleinberg

With judicious use of historical news clips, ’60s rock and his own footage of Vietnamese fleeing a bombed-out village, Kleinberg traces his transformation from a patriotic war supporter who thinks he’s just too old to serve to an ardent opponent who has seen a year of combat in Cu Chi.Kleinberg, a former editor at the San Francisco Chronicle who discovered stand-up comedy in his 50s, depicts his old comrades crudely but mostly effectively with accents and facial expressions.

 The difference between a Vietnamese jungle tour, a Bangkok hotel hookup and an Atlantic City reunion is largely in subtle changes of stance and tone. While some scenes lag as Kleinberg lingers on the guilty doldrums of a posting that’s not quite in the war and not quite out of it, the low-level tension pays off in the end.After 11 years in Iraq and 13 in Afghanistan, a show about the horrors of a war that ended decades ago might seem beside the point. “Hey, Hey, LBJ” is a reminder that every war story has its own potent humor and horror. Forty years on, parody songs begging the Viet Cong not to kill non-vital artists and writers are still funny, as is an evocative account of a “s— burning duty” fiasco that serendipitously reveals an enemy tunnel. The bloodshed that follows is still sickening. And the complaints of a soldier with PTSD who, 32 years later, is still battling Veterans Affairs over disability are hardly old news at all.


DK Cu Chi 1966

Kleinberg with M14 & Nikon at Cu Chi 1966

* Fantastic . . . powerful . . . moving . . . full house . . . standing ovation . . . must see.” – Michael Goldberg, ex-senior writer/associate editor Rolling Stone Magazine

* “Mesmerizing . . . powerful . . . moving . . . I laughed, I cried ” – Lynne Venart, Washington DCist

* “Kleinberg’s black eyes pierced every member in the audience, his voice soft, yet strong enough to fluctuate at the drop of a hat . . . all eyes were fixated on him throughout . . . raw with emotion . . . deserves your attention.” – Jai Williams, DC Theater Scene

* “Hey, Hey, LBJ! is an honest and uncompromising account of Kleinberg’s life in a combat zone and the aftermath . . . vivid and emotional . . . Kleinberg is a master of the dramatic pause.” — Vanessa Terzaghi, DC Metro Theater Arts

* “Compelling . . . moving . . . engaging” – Elliot Lanes, Maryland Theater Guide

* “At the end . . . (Kleinberg) holds up photos of his army brothers . . . faces of men just hanging on . . . Kleinberg’s eyes all amist, you see that he’s still there with them, fighting Johnson . . . and this whole fucked up world one performance at a time.” – Derek Hills, Washington City Paper


DC Metro Theater Arts Advance Piece (Interview With David Kleinberg)


Radio Interview With David Kleinberg on Boulder Community Station KGNU


2014 DC Fringe Festival  — Sold-out 100 in-attendance for final show

2014 Boulder Fringe Festival — Encore Performance, Best at Venue



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