Welcome to the ninth year of the acclaimed SoloFest at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks.
Halfway through this season of captivating solo performances we see another interesting and creative story entitled, “Wake Up Little Susy.”
This is a story that is told from the inside out. Susy was once lost, but ultimately finds her way back with self love and enormous strength. This is a story of survival and awakenings through very awkward moments in life. It’s captivating to watch someone’s life evolve from childhood to present day with pizzazz, and Susy Porter has pizzazz!
Little Susy was born in Ohio to a family with two older siblings. As the only girl and the youngest child, she was daddy’s girl. Unfortunately, not everything is as it seems. The audience ist allowed to witness through Susy’s eyes the pain and confusion a child feels when an unwelcome incident occurs. It is even more of a betrayal from a loved and admired parent. Not surprisingly, it would change her forever. Portraying this little girl on stage in a realistic and sensitive fashion lets us into her very visible pain. Never really adjusting to this horrific moment, Susy meanders through life and relationships trying to be that ‘good girl’ that she hopes to be.
Moving onto her teenage years appear far more humorous. She has a natural comedic wit to her storytelling. The audience can identify with teenage angst and lack of confidence. It seems Susy listens to all kinds of voices. Oh not the ‘should be hospitalized’ type, but the ones outside herself. Everyone else is directing her, and she is a willing candidate. Whether it’s finding love through a strong Christian identity, or linking into well-known spiritual gurus, she devours the messages. It’s a belief system that may not entirely benefit her during her formative years, however, she soldiers on.
Good girl, Susy.
In addition to Ms. Porter’s vivid storytelling, we are entertained by her talent as a musician, singer and actor. We bear witness to this throughout the performance, she is a natural on the stage. When she left the Midwest to pursue performing in Los Angeles, it was no surprise. The whirlwind that ensued in her youthful twenties is very entertaining, yet so empty. It was always a quest to find something, to be alright, to heal that inner child. The boyfriends were often unkind and yet, through it all she manages to stand upright. We watch a large screen at the back of the compact stage and see images of a younger Susy. She is very attractive, smiling, and seems happy. Alas, are the smiles real? Can she get through the muck to find her true self? We shall see.
In the almost final part of her journey, Susy shares the stage with a very interesting character. She reminiscences about her sexual exploits from that innocent young age to the current day with her puppet, Vadge. Speaking in an appropriate voice from that most intimate of areas on a woman’s body; Vadge tells us all the dirty secrets of lust and love. Relishing in the details, the audience roars with laughter. This is quite an unusual partnership to witness.
Wrapping up the story with a particularly disastrous year, Susy remains strong. Holding her close or perhaps holding her up is her drama instructor husband and two children. Susy Porter is doing what she loves best. Finding the way back to one’s true self is often the hardest journey.
This solo performance has grit. It also compels honest laughter. Between the animated voices, visuals, and non-stop energy of Susy, the audience is captured. It might be her adorable charm or her endless exploits, whichever it is; this show is fun to watch.
This solo performance was written and performed by the effervescent Susy Porter.
The Whitefire Theater has the largest solo festival around and is located at 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA. The person responsible for the success at this theater is Bryan Rasmussen, the artistic director. He is an award winning, actor, teacher and coach. After 37 years of being associated with the Whitefire, he definitely knows talent. Come and see some of the most fabulous solo performances for this 2020 season. It boasts 80 shows in 90 days and it is only half way over.
Tickets or showtimes can be seen at www.Whitefiretheater.com. 818 687-8559