Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Life at the Theater-I AM MY OWN WIFE

We saw this in 2003 at the Lyceum Theater in NY. It was a one-man show starring Jefferson Mays in a play written by Doug Wright. Wright based it on his own conversations with German transvestite, Charlotte von Mahlsdorf.

It tells the story of an antique dealer, transvestite living in Eastern Germany under the Communist occupation and the dreaded Stasi and her difficulties with this situation. Mays played forty roles in the production and played them well.

One- person plays are not my favorite theater experience (although Ellen Burstyn) playing Shirley Valentine was an exception.

Mays was very very good though and the play was good enough that I bought the script. It won the Tony for best play and the Pulitizer Prize in 2004,


Anonymous said...

See, there's another show that we didn't see. We don't see everything in New York, although some days it seems that way.

Jackie agrees with you about one-person shows though we've seen a few that stand out over the years, including Roy Dotrice in John Aubrey's BRIEF LIVES in 1974 and Phyllis Newman's semi-autobiographical musical revue THE MADWOMAN OF CENTRAL PARK WEST in 1979. Oh, one more: Lily Tomlin's THE SEARCH FOR INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE in 1985.

In the last five years, however, we seem to have seen a lot of them:

Jake Ehrenreich's self-explanatory A JEW GROWS IN BROOKLYN
Nilaja Sun's NO CHILD...
Colman Domingo's A BOY AND HIS SOUL
Charlayne Woodard's THE NIGHT WATCHER
Anna Deveare Smith's LET ME DOWN EASY (which will be on PBS in January), "doing" people with cancer
Yisrael Campbell's CIRCUMCISE ME
Jeff Key's THE EYES OF BABYLON (about his service in the Marines and coming out)

This latter group shares one thing: they were all performed by their authors. (Also, all were worth seeing.)

Sorry to go on so long.

Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

Patti - I've never seen this one. I'm not much of a one for one-person plays either, but this one sound really interesting and well-done.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've enjoyed every play I've ever seen. I don't know why I don't go to more of them. I'm so much a homebody, I guess.