A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Conversations With Bev…Connecting with My Better Self,” written and performed by Maria Fagan Hassani, directed and developed by Heather Dowling, and produced by Jessica Lynn Johnson at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.
“Conversations With Bev…Connecting with My Better Self” is a play about self confidence, self belief and the lies we all tell ourselves, for many many reasons, to diminish who we truly are. Maria Fagan Hassani shares a lifetime of self doubt, of shame for not being prettier or thinner or smarter. Something so many of us have direct experience with. At a particularly low point, she calls on the help of an old friend, who has long since passed on, to help her reexamine what brought her to this place in her life.
Sometimes it takes someone else to change your stubborn mind, especially about yourself. This particular someone else is kind of a ghost, but it still works. Actually, the character of Bev really feels like the voice of reason inside Maria’s head. She has to convince her own self that she is worthy of her life.
It’s a lovely performance. “Conversations With Bev…Connecting with My Better Self” is simple, without frills, yet funny and deeply heartfelt.
Yet, the way Bev arrives through a full-length mirror is absolutely inspired, very Brothers Grimm, which I think is a lovely touch given that the root of most of Maria’s fears can be traced to her younger self. Childhood can really do a number on us, can’t it!?
Solo shows are a beautiful way to explore what makes us all human. They are a leveler, a conduit for love and self expression and, when they are done well, there’s nothing better.
Maria Fagan Hassani has created a warmly wonderful play as she travels through moments and memories in her life that provide her with the meaning and understanding she is searching for. There are funny moments and tender moments and moments of revelation. It all adds up to a wonderful touching solo show. Bravo!!
Saturday, June 11 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 25 at 12:45 p.m.
7456 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, 90046