Catworks Productions Presents: “An Evening of One Acts: Joan & What Did They Say”
Written by Wendy Winter & Bernadette Armstrong
Directed by Collette Rutherford & Adam Matalon
Running March 22 through April 6, Friday & Saturday at 8 PM
Theatre Unlimited, 10943 Camarillo St., North Hollywood, 91602
I love one-act plays, especially when they are thoughtfully curated and thematically connected.
“An Evening of One Acts” is a selection of two one-act plays, both written by women writers and both about love. Everything is really about love, isn’t it? Every play, every book, every song, every painting, all driven by the need to love and be loved. But these two plays approach the subject in totally different ways and make conclusions that are odd and unusual and strange…all in the loveliest of senses.
“Joan” is a play about Joan Crawford. We meet her as she waits, slightly confused, in what she thinks is a green room, but is actually the bardo, a kind of limbo, after death and before continuing on to whatever is next. As she waits she tells stories, clarifies a few misconceptions and slowly softens. Her time there is accompanied by a couple of guides, sort of narrating her passing, posing as radio announcers, hoping that by taking this familiar form it will calm her since she began her career in radio.
It’s a very sweet piece. Full of humor and irony and the charm of Ms Crawford…and a little of the not so charming. It’s fascinating to think of those moments between death and whatever comes next and to pose the question of “what if” using one of the most iconic actresses in history. A very charming and touching play.
“What Did They Say” is the final play of the evening and it is a study in family dynamics, secrets and discovery. It’s mothers day and the mother of the family is preparing to feed her now grown flock. This includes a gay daughter, a gay ex-husband, a straight daughter and her twin who has suddenly realized they are non-binary.
Quite the setup! Cleverly written as a classic TV sitcom, with hammy, lit entrances and many a one liner, this play addresses the sometimes confusing and ever moving boundaries of family life. The characters are beautifully drawn and hilariously portrayed. They are human and ultra human, slightly stereotypical but not in a derivative way. They are bold and brave and gloriously technicolored. They make their points and find their place in compelling and tender ways. Really excellent writing!
So both these plays are well worth seeing. The complement each other and give a lovely balance to the evening. I hope to see more from both these excellent and highly original writers. Bravo!!
Goreti de Silva, David Trice & Christine Uhebe
“What Did They Say” stars:
Anna Garcia, David Garelik, Sue Gerver, Jon Marco, Bryan Porter, Alec Schiff & Marinela Zubovic