This is an amazing and memorable show, as informative as it is entertaining. Ben Caffee shows us the turmoil of the bi-polar difference with excruciating candor and moving vulnerability. And what a trip it is! Kudos to Ben for his riveting performance. If you missed this fine show you can still see it on YouTube.
-and thanks for the youtube plug – if anybody is still out there you can google “Bennet Caffee” and it pops right up – the benefit and curse of an uncommon name. Video’s spotty, not always well lit but it gets the spirit
An amazing and memorable piece of work~ as informative as it is entertaining. Ben Caffee really shows us the extremes of the bi-polar difference from the inside. And what a trip he takes us on! Kudos to Ben for his riveting performance. If you missed this excellent and thought-provoking show, you can still catch it on YouTube.
Listen to my interview with Bennett Caffee talking about creating and performing his first show My First Miracle. Click on this link! http://fringereview.co.uk/audio-interviews/general/2017/an-insiders-look-at-bipolar-mood-disorder-jo-tomalin-talks-with-bennet-caffee-about-creating-his-first-show-my-first-miracle-and-performing-my-first-miracle-at-the-san-francisco-fringe-2017/
Thought I’d just reiterate my feelings! I loved the show so much so that I saw it again
last night! It really is an extraordinary piece of theatre that draws you in – makes you think about the assumptions we sometimes have about the differences between us, when we should embrace them for all the wonderfully diverse views and joy that they can bring if you keep yourself open to it. So worth seeing (twice!) Thank you Ben!
Ben delivered an incredible performance relaying the experiences around his alternating states of mind. I lived vicariously through his wild recollections. Don’t miss it – it’s gripping and quite brilliant!
Great show. Ben’s stories are so visual and relatable. I’m in health care and frequently work with bipolar people. This will hopefully help me see things a bit differently. Thanks Ben! I highly recommend seeing My First Miracle.
I’ve you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to discover that your mind has a mind of its own, and is causing you to behave in ways that are alarming to others, you MUST see this fine performer. Ben gives us a sneak preview into his mind, mostly in the up state (mania) but a glimmer into the darkness of depression. I recommend this to anyone who has struggled or is close to someone with a mood disorder (and that’s most of us). It has raucous laugh-out loud moments as well as pierce-the-heart instances that are uncomfortable . . . and which connect us to Bennet’s struggles and joys.
I facilitate a peer support group at Berkeley Depression Bipolar Alliance and have great empathy for those affected by bipolar disorders (yes, I know Ben wants us to think of BP as a difference rather than a disorder). So I was especially eager to see this work. It met all my expectations. It is funny, informative, and captures the challenges BP creates for those who must manage it. Thank you for sharing your story, Bennet.
Irma, your review brought me to tears -really. I like to think good art comes from self expression without a forced message. My intention performing this piece is to entertain and take the audience to the wild and not always so wonderful places I’ve been. If that leaves people with a greater understanding and empathy for the bipolar “difference”, that’s an added and much appreciated plus. Thank you so much for your heartfelt review.
The Fringe Review Recommends My First Miracle – a Fascinating, Moving + Entertaining Show! Read the full Review here:
One of the most powerful parts of My First Miracle is when Ben drops the wall he had around himself and becomes vulnerable. It’s tempting to only enjoy the humor in the manic moments he shares with us – yet if we did that we would miss out on seeing and experiencing the whole of Ben.
I love the show overall – yet my favorite scene is when he surrenders. For any of us who are afraid to admit how afraid we are or that we can’t do it all by ourselves, seeing someone be vulnerable and admit this onstage cracked my defenses.
When Jesus performed miracles two things happened – 1) the person had to ask for help and 2) take action.
Whether or not Ben performed any miracles for anyone else – he performed one for himself by walking onstage with this show.
This show is an absolute gem! Bennett Caffee delivers an extraordinary piece of theater ! It’s beautifully written, throughly captivating and such an honest, courageous sharing of his experience being bi-polar. He shows us , with marvelous humor, the highs and lows. By virtue of his remarkable and revelatory performance, we come to a greater understanding of humanity. I wholeheartedly recommend it and feel it deserves a BEST of FRINGE!!!
Terri – So glad you liked the show and thank you for this wonderful review. I copied and sent it to the San Francisco DBSA (Depression Bipolar Support Alliance) and have asked them to send out a notice for my last two shows on Tuesday and Wednesday.
My First Miracle is both heartfelt and hilarious! Ben’s courage in telling his own story and his ability to show us the funny side of a serious subject make this a must see!
I was fascinated by this show as it took me inside the experience of having a manic episode of a bipolar person. I’ve never really understood what it felt like and this really helped me to understand it. Thank you Ben for making yourself so vulnerable!
This is an edgy, informative, hilarious and truly entertaining account of living with a bipolar disorder. Ben’s stories are wild, laugh out loud funny, and heartwarming all at the same time. As someone who also deals with depression, I thank Ben for putting himself out there.
Ben’s show is like a ride down the rabbit hole, with one escapade cascading to the next. Seeking and slipping along with him, you cringe, gasp, shake your head – no way! – and you care. What a brave story teller, what a courageous soul.
I loved the show ! It takes some guts to share one’s personal experience in public. Ben does it perfectly. I laughed from the beginning to the end of this performance that gives a very funny and yet realistic insight into bipolar disorder. Congratulations and thanks again for this great moment, Ben!
Ben gives you permission to laugh at some hilarious stories that happened while in a manic state. I laughed throughout and came away with a little more compassion and understanding of what he went through.
Ben gives you permission to laugh at some hilarious stories that happened while in a manic state. I laughed throughout and came away with a little more compassion and understanding of what he went through. Thoroughly entertaining!
So I saw My First Miracle yesterday and I was quite impressed. I definitely recommend you see it asap, especially if you’re interested in mental health. The performer is a natural born story teller with some outrageously true stories.
I hMy First Miracle is an entertaining and insightful story that made me laugh, cry and applaud enthusiastically. Ben is a delightful storyteller, his delivery is spot on, and you will want to see this more than once.
Watching Ben bring this performance along has been very interesting and exciting..in the telling is the story! Well done, Ben.
Ben takes you on an exhilarating roller coaster ride through the landscapes of his mind. His adventures in his head and around the globe propel him to a multitude of realizations and mind-opening truths. Ben has crafted an insightful and funny show. What’s normal anyway?
I saw one of Ben’s performances at The Marsh last year and was immediately hooked. His story was not an easy one, but you didn’t realize it yet. It unfolded like a myth, or a surreal painting, and before you knew it, you were in the middle of it with him. He’s a natural storyteller, darkly funny, and has that spark that makes art, art. Can’t wait to see his new performance this week.
Great stories about being manic. Very well told and very funny. And eerily accurate. That’s what it feels like.
Great show, Ben’s stories are hilarious while shedding light on the experience of being Bi-Polar or having mental health issues in general. Five stars, must see.
Wow Linda – thank you so much! I had a lot of fun up there and I guess it showed.
What an amazing show! Ben Caffee’s My First Miracle is a gem. The writing, the delivery, the humor are all stellar. Ben takes us on a journey through the highs, lows and middle ground of bi-polar disorder without flagging for a moment. His personal insights open the eyes to see far beyond the “normal” and has the effect (unintentionally I suspect) of daring the viewer to expand his or her own vistas of reality. This is one show that deserves a BEST OF FRINGE!
Linda – whenever I get the blues I’m going to read this review. Thank you so much! I’m going to have it embroidered on my pillow so i can sleep with it. – Naw – but really I’m so flattered.
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