I'm Not Sure I Like the Way You Licked Me!
nytheatre.com review by Ed Malin
April 7, 2011
Bricken Spacarino’s one-woman show I’m Not Sure I Like The Way You Licked Me is a recipe for coming to terms with life’s ups and downs. The title refers to an awkward first kiss, but is quickly shown to include the other licks that a person may unexpectedly receive.
Through wide-open storytelling and a lot of old family pictures, Bricken shows us how she got to be a New York performer. First are the parents who gave her a name that rhymes with “chicken” (but were considering naming her Sacajewea), and the first dramatic roles. Next come men who can’t kiss well, three boyfriends named Mike, and her now-husband and collaborator, Mike, who first appears as a scowling young man. Catty females from drama school further torment Bricken, and then she injures her arm and her knee at the wrong time in her career. The great thing about all these licks, in the words of the performer, is that they taught her to keep going in pursuit of her dreams, and every so often, to lick back. The show ends with a rock song of triumph.
Bricken has a history of directing one-person shows, and is at the same time enthusiastic and vulnerable while presenting her own. I’m sure everyone has been on the receiving end (or maybe even the giving end) of these torments, and it is a satisfying show. Lori Kee’s direction ensures that there is an arc to the story.
In case you are like me and were anticipating seeing this show in the FRIGID New York Festival earlier this year, the reasons for postponement are explained. A family tragedy threatened to cancel this show forever, but perhaps because of her knack for overcoming the small problems of life, even the large issues couldn’t stop Bricken’s performance. The ending is motivational in the extreme.