Written and Performed by Angel Guice. Directed by Juliette Jeffers
This multidimensional and multi-faceted solo show opens with a powerful and brilliant dance.
Angel Guice sings as she dances to “Childish Gambino’s “This is America. Video and pictures projected on a screen behind her. Terrible images of death and injustice and violence, yet she dances with power and purpose and urgency, stripping down to a bikini as she does. Baring herself as she prepares to bare her soul. The echos of Gambino’s lyrics hanging in the air as we watch her.
It’s quite an opening to her story and it sets the tone for her entire play. She is unashamed, she is emboldened and she is free… She tells her tale as some kind of epic, heroic journey…a fable, a myth that feels all too familiar lately. Is survival living? Angel’s boldly lived and brilliantly told tale is one that teaches us all how to thrive in spite of adversity and setbacks and self-doubt.
What stood out for me was her honesty and the way she was able to create a world onstage that she inhabited in every conceivable way. She owned the stage, but she did so with grace and a startlingly humble presence. The music, the dance, the multimedia all enhanced what was already a fascinating and complex life. Compellingly told, heart-achingly real. There is sadness and struggle and loss, but there is so much hope
Angel’s life force propels this play. Her need to share herself is what makes this piece work so well. She is unable to fit into anyone’s conception of who she should be, she bursts out of her own skin, blossoming on stage in front of our eyes. Her story and her journey and her ever-evolving imagining of who she is now and who she will become is everywhere for us to see…it’s a really beautiful play, full of soul and love and skillfully wrought, unforgettable moments of her life. Bravo!