The Sit-Down Show
nytheatre.com review by Richard Hinojosa
July 18, 2006
How do we decide to live our lives? Do we make art or do we make babies? Do we attempt to join the ranks of the beautiful deviants or the ugly humanitarians? Desiree Burch explores these and other questions about the game of life in her quite funny and designed-to-be-compelling one-woman show, The Sit-Down Show.
The show is made up of an extended monologue, some short films, and a little dancing here and there. The monologue consists mainly of musing on Burch's life and the way she deals with its various wild pitches such as sex, discrimination, and creativity. The short films, courtesy of Sarah Reynolds, are really quite interesting. I enjoyed the sort of VH1-Where-Are-They-Now parody of Burch's projected rise and fall from stardom most of all. The brief moments of dancing are very well choreographed by Sarah Maxfield and they offer a nice break from the monologue.
Burch's monologue is very well written. It's packed with great quotable quotes that are as insightful as they are witty. Her performance is funny and animated and she has tons of energy. Her Oscar speech, for example, is a scream. Still, when it comes to one person shows I find it difficult to focus my attention when they become self-indulgent. The Sit-Down Show is designed to be a compelling exploration of life but I never really felt compelled. I appreciate the fact that Burch is putting these personal things out there for us to examine and hopefully reflect upon, but at the same time I want to see something more original. As I was watching Burch do her stuff I couldn't help but feel that she has more originality locked up somewhere inside of her. This personal therapy theatre seems like something that she just had to get off her chest and now that she has I hope to see her create something just as smart and funny but more unique and imaginative.
Now for one of those quotable quotes: This is one of the very last lines of the show and is a reminder (if you hadn't clued in by this point) of what the show is about. Burch says, in the end "I won't remember which games I won or lost, just why I played the game." I hope to aspire to that too, but for now I'd like to see Burch change the game to something that it doesn't matter if she wins or loses because she's making up her own unique set of rules as she goes.