A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Asexuality! The Solo Musical” written and performed by Rebecca McGlynn, directed and developed by Heather Dowling, and produced by Jessica Lynn Johnson at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Let me just open with – this show is staggeringly good. I mean excellent, truly.
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. It seems to have the perfect Hollywood Fringe bio: Previous “Top of The Fringe” winner Rebecca McGlyn, a transgender artist and musical creator extraordinaire with her new musical about asexuality. A topic I knew very little about.
But, believe me when I tell you I was wholly unprepared for how incredible Rebecca is and how surprising, innovative, moving, and also highly informative “Asexuality! The Solo Musical” is.
Studio Stage is such an intimate place, it always feels a bit like being inside a spaceship somehow, not sure why. It’s otherworldly, and this play is the perfect fit for it. Rebecca tells her own unique story beginning in childhood, figuring out who she was and wasn’t and who she will become.
And, because of her incredible openness and the way she combines her sweetly reserved nature with her explosive and powerful personality, we feel immediately and intimately connected.
We are also treated to her three alter egos projected on a screen behind her. Hope, who is always finding the positive; John who represents the world at large and is a bit of a stodgy bugger; and Ruth, her ‘truth’ who comically sounds like an English librarian. We also get to meet her penis as a character…also English, but with more of a Gary Oldman vibe.
The songs are genius, like “Rocky Horror” meets “Jagged Little Pill.” And since I didn’t know Rebecca before the show and had no idea where the play was going, the twist (and there is a big one) was transformative…in the very real sense!
Rebecca is astonishingly talented and absolutely hilarious. Her life has been tough to navigate and discovering herself sexually and romantically has been tortuous at times. There are spectrums to everything it seems, even asexuality. You can be uninterested in sex, but yearn for romantic love, for instance, which is what happened to Rebecca. How confusing it must have been as a teenager, not feeling what every other hormone-filled teenagers around you do. These days, schools in California at least are more supportive and aware. There are plenty of states in the US that seem to be going backwards though. The universe has endless room for all of us and our beautiful differences. My grandson is trans and has opened up like a flower since he shared who he was with us, and is infinitely happier and more confident. So I wept through some of this show, I can tell you! But the rest of the time I was laughing outloud along with everyone else!
I predict this show will be packed throughout the festival. So if you can get tickets, do it right away!!! I absolutely loved it!!!
Friday, June 10 at 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 19 at 7 p.m.
Studio Stage Theatre
520 N Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90004