“Hidden” @ Whitefire Solofest written and performed by Heather L. Herington
There’s a doctor in the house!
Heather L. Herington, hailing from Canada, is a retired homeopathic/naturopathic doctor specializing in PTSD, amongst other things. An upper-middle-class child of the 60s, she shares that era with, “In those days having sex was like shaking hands.”
Her husband, Avi N. Gross, provides the musical direction, playing the piano to the stories she tells. Playing subtly, not overpoweringly, but very effectively.
The show opens with a musical number bringing Heather’s energy to the audience. She creates different characters, Shame (Southern drawl); Nature (Bubbly); Temper (French-Canadian) and this reviewer’s favorite Babushka (Russian chain smoker) You feel that each inhabits her so realistically. Heather shares overdosing on acid and being raped in a cabin, addressing the irony of helping people with trauma yet not facing her own.
This is a thoughtful, provocative and insightful telling of the search for community. Avi’s songs are crisp, funny, precise and impeccably timed. She eventually reveals her savior character, Annie (Irish). Although we are unclear if she is a real person or a character, Annie certainly is the much-needed mother figure in Heather’s life. The play ends as it begins, with a song. Everyone is encouraged to sing along with Heather, the best jewel: – “Shout, #MeToo.” “Pick yourself up, Let it shine. Take your power back.”
This doctor’s prescription is song, “it unites everyone.” According to Heather, the key to healing is “community” and that’s what she creates in this lovely offering at Whitefire Theatre’s Solofest.