nytheatre.com review by Brian Rogers
I wanted terribly for Andrea Assaf's one-person Globalicities to
succeed. Assaf's passion for her subject(s) is astonishing; and many of
her political ideas are undeniably compelling. As political discourse,
however, Globalicities fails to cohere. Assaf draws interesting
connections between the Robin Hood legend and a whole host of
contemporary situations related to globalization, violence, exploitation
and the capitalist ideal. As individual moments, Globalicities is
eminently watchable. As a whole, it's a bit of a mess. That's a shame,
because Assaf's performance—which juxtaposes documentary materials and
choreography with confessional monologues and fierce
characterizations—is so commanding.
August 15, 2003
Globalicities is essentially the sum of two wildly divergent parts. The first, in which Assaf (decked out in period costume) delivers an extended monologue on the 12th century Robin Hood legend (recounting the signing of the Magna Carta and a host of other incidents) —is at times maddeningly impenetrable despite Assaf's devotion to the material. A second set of broadsides —all of them autobiographical, all of them vigorously told—detail everything from her first brush with capitalism (a lemonade stand) to her relationship with her mother to her emergence as a political activist.
These pieces, smashed together, do not a puzzle make. Assaf's self-created choreography—simple and repetitive in the best way—is perhaps the only thing holding Globalicities together. As a band aid for dramaturgical confusion it's too little, too late.
Assaf is preaching to the converted, and this is not a bad thing. But the multimedia elements—in which everyday Americans attempt to answer the question "what is capitalism?" to disturbingly humorous effect—make her argument seem simpler than it actually is. If there is a point to be found in Globalicities—and personally I'm at a loss—Assaf is keeping it to herself.
Which is okay: politics are tricky. And the interweaving threads from which Globalicities is made—which are frustrating and tantalizing by turns—provide ample food for thought.