Sunday, May 15, 2005


No, I'm not talking about what living alone these past 13 years has done to me...

For my 'Christmas present,' Gretchen took me to "I Am My Own Wife" by Doug Wright, playing at the Curran this month. It features Jefferson Mays in his Tony Award winning role as German transvestite, Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf, as well as a good dozen or more characters.

For me, that was this productions best and worst feature: Jefferson Mays, in a simple black dress and pearls, brilliantly playing a multinational cast of characters. So adept and with such transparency are his transitions that the technique itself got in the way of my understanding what the hell was going on up there. 'Charlotte' does more than narrate an autobiography, but the some scenes are played out - conversations with two or three people - all by Mr. Mays. Additionally, the frame of the piece is the 'author' who is interviewing her and investigating the museum she kept. Then Charlotte goes into flashbacks. Then I started to drift off. The SF Chronicle's RAVE review pointed out "the use of Mays to depict all the characters underscores the universal slipperiness of identity." Oh dear. Is THAT what was going on? It is, in Gretchen's words, a very dry play. So, true. There is no one to laugh with or cry for in the play. We just sort of witness this character's ability to survive the Nazis and the Neo-Nazis.

The set and lighting are HUGE and GLORIOUS to look at, though!

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