ME: A 5WOMAN SHOW
nytheatre.com review by Joanne Joseph
Yes, it's "about me" times 5. An interesting take on personal theatre so
frequent at fringe festivals and elsewhere. Five actors (from Los
Angeles) perform in a collage of fragments—wants, fantasies,
complaints—about, I think, the search for a coherent sense of life. The
separate stances enacted are "Star," "Insecurity," "Bitch," "Head" and
"Heart." These, as expected, will converge into one whole being at the
end of the hour. It is up to you to decide if this is enough—if this is
a complete picture of life, for you, at whatever stage of life you're
August 15, 2002
Choreography (well-designed and executed) and songs are interspersed. The show opens with a shaky home movie of "Me" at age 6. Scenes follow that are blackouts, flashlight-lit, everyone prone on the floor, everyone standing all-in-a-line, sitting on two prop boxes, or framed center stage for monologues in front of a spot-lit egg-shaped frame.
My companion was most taken with "Insecurity" played by Andria Regan—she did poignantly convey the internal struggles that manifest in self effacing behavior. "Head," played by Collette Winn, maintained the no-affect control, face, body and voice, needed for that aspect. "Star," Alana Burton, complete with sparkles on her face and glitzy costume, fulfilled all the requisite attributes: svelte, lively, talented, sexy, winning. (My idealistic companion felt she pushed, "sold it" too much, but I think Burton nailed it, as more Liza than Uta.) "Heart," played by Kendall Wilson, provided well-needed contrast to the others. The casting fortuitously gave us the range of the tall, the thin, the heavy, the gorgeous, and, lastly, the swish. "Bitch," portrayed by Lalo Vasquez, the only male figure, is intended to blend into the collective "Me". His concerns deal with the ins and outs of gay relationships, and one's position in the straight world of now. He confronts the audience more directly than some of the others.
The show's concept does not permit much of a moving story line—collage, fragments, prevail. Life issues are raised, but some are missing, of course. We hear and see the questions about sex, trends, popularity, coming of age, mainstream expectations—all personal, no looking at world crises. The piece tries, I think, to construct a person from fragments, in today's world. Go see it and see if it succeeds. The energy is high, and the audience was entertained.