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A CurtainUp San Francisco Review
Berry enters as Melissa Rich, an ad exec who works for a major advertising firm. She's smug, not very funny and seemingly without scruples. While it's clear that Berry is to some degree sending up ad execs, the character she has created lacks any deeper complexities and fails to hold our interest. Melissa Rich soon wears thin and we long for more insight into what really makes her tick.
Another character, Jenny, is apparently auobiographical. Her story is told through a series of slides (which, due to a technical problem, could not be seen clearly) depicting friends and acquaintances who have been affected negatively by prescription drugs. Despite the poignancy of each story, Ms. Rich did not invest them with enough feeling to elicit strong audience empathy. This is a case of an author who writes well but whose acting is competent rather than powerful.
In the final scene of the play Jenny describes her troubled and depressed friend, Patty, watching a Bill Viola exhibit. (Viola is a groundbreaking video artist who filmed actors expressing genuine feelings and then slowed down the video so that viewers could watch extreme emotion in the hope it would evoke some feeling in the viewer). Berry's reference to the Viola exhibit to prompt Patty, desperate to get off the anti-depressants that have robbed her of her edge and her vitality, to face her pain is ironically not just a solution for Patty but is also exactly the sort of theatrical momentum Berry's play needs to be a powerful theatrical experience.
In order for one person shows to truly work, they need to force their solo performers into those darker areas of the psyche that require greater emotion than Ms. Berry is able to bring to this one. Until and unless she can do so, these stories might be better served by giving a larger cast of actors the opportunity to focus on deep and true feelings.
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.
Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide
At This Theater