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I Am My Own Wife - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
I Am My Own Wife
This deserves its own entry. Every time I visit New York, I make an effort to see a show. In December I was wowed by Take Me Out. If somebody had told me they were making a play about a gay baseball player, I would have just nodded politely. Turns out, it totally worked and I loved it.

So if somebody tells you about a play about a German transvestite who likes old furniture? And even if the entire play has just one actor? Don't just nod and smile, people: go see this play. Seriously. Go now. I Am My Own Wife was positively amazing. I literally left the theatre wishing I could go and see it again the very next evening, and (since I knew I couldn't see it again) making plans to read the script.

I was initially leery of the idea of a one-actor play, because it seemed like there was too much potential for repetitiveness or mistakes. But Jefferson Mays totally sold it, and I was riveted the whole time. He played approximately 40 different characters, each with their own accents and vocal tones, and he would switch between them so instantly and flawlessly that you always followed the story, always knew who was speaking. And the plot was totally riveting.

The only bummer about the evening was that I was so tired, having only gotten 30 minutes of sleep in the past 36 hours, I found myself fighting to follow the first act. It had been a long day, with 5am travel, lots of walking all over the city, a large dinner, and a comfortable seat. Any other play, and I would have had to give in to sleep. But this one was so fascinating, I was literally pinching myself and constantly moving my legs to stay awake. A brisk walk during the intermission helped, and I stayed alert for the second act much better. I'm so glad I did, too -- it was a great show.
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Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 27th, 2004 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)

the next big shindig...

Personally, it does sound a little odd, but I suppose I could probably imagine something along the lines of eric idle pulling off all those characters ;)


I the next big hit should be about an ecclectic single female programmer living in the burbs of detroit. The number of stories they could tell... ;)


MJP
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 28th, 2004 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: the next big shindig...

heeheehee! Sounds like a great show!
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: September 27th, 2004 08:37 am (UTC) (Link)

One Person Shows

Back in the day when I used to go to the Toronto Fringe Festival I saw a number of good one person shows including the best My Own Private Oshawa about a man going to Oshawa on the train and recalling growing up gay in the same town.

So I agree don't be put off by one person plays people!
cannibal From: cannibal Date: September 27th, 2004 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am so tired of one-man or one-woman shows. They may work okay if the person is really talented, maybe, but I'm not convinced. At Edinburgh this year, it seems like 70% of the 500 or so shows were soliloquies, and it really got boring after awhile. Okay, for a stand-up comic that is the way they do it, but I've never been really into those... I did take in a few because of Brian, but I'd much rather see a real play. They even snuck a couple in by making them six or seven actors each doing a ten minute one-man sketch. (that was really really awful, but we didn't leave, hoping it would get better) No set, no props, no cast... nah, I'm burned out on one-man shows. It got to the point where I was asking people handing out fliers "is it a one-man show?" and I wouldn't take it if they said yes.

To me, even having two people is at least 3 times better than a soliloquy, even if one person still does multiple roles. My favorite show was a musical, after all, with a full cast.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 28th, 2004 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I can understand feeling burned out, but really -- this one was extraordinary. The actor was amazingly talented. It wasn't a soliliquy; if you closed your eyes, you would believe there were at least 3 people on the stage at any one time, conversing. He played about 40 different characters. And there was a really cool set as well.

It's not just my opinion either, it won 2 Tony's (best play, best actor) and a Pulitzer Prize this year.

Oh I love musicals too! This was very different, but absolutely riveting.
cannibal From: cannibal Date: September 29th, 2004 07:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, of course I'm glad you enjoyed it... and the 2-person play I saw had one guy jumping between characters very much, doing different voices, body, language, and expression, and that worked very well... of course, the second person was a woman, and they did a lot of dancing (actually, they were so good we went to see their other play - one was about boxing with lots of swing dancing, the other was about pirates with lots of tangos and latin dancing).
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 29th, 2004 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)
oooh, those both sound very good. (:
cannibal From: cannibal Date: September 29th, 2004 07:49 am (UTC) (Link)
If you go to the Minnesota Fringe Festival, I bet you can see them, Brian Sostek and Megan McClellan are from... hmm... I'll post more in my journal.
From: caneprints Date: September 27th, 2004 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love going to shows myself, but I know what you mean about feeling sleepy during a performance. I go to dinner theaters with a group of friends, and I've learned that if I eat a particularly large meal, I end up getting sleepy, even when the show is good. I'm glad you found a play that you enjoyed so much. I've been touched by a few myself.
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