I have a bit of a soft spot for one woman shows, and I’ve been lucky enough to see quite a few of them this year so far, all of them excellent.
And "Sawed in Half" at Acme on Lankershim is no exception.
What Victoria Larimore and Andrea Mevzinzky have created here in “Sawed in Half” is an unapologetic and unrestricted peek inside the mind of a woman dealing with the kind of stuff we all deal with as women…low self worth, family expectations, the stress of not being perfect constantly, dating men who can actually string a sentence together etc, etc.
With an impressive array of credentials, both these writers not only bring their own individual and unique creativity but a keen sense of “this is who I am. Get over it.”
I love that the story takes us through a life not neatly, from one end to the other, but in intense bursts of poignancy and moments of clarity. This works brilliantly as a way of managing exactly what is really important to the character Andrea has created, and how and why she arrives at this present moment in her life.
The character is Andrea Mevzinsky, make no mistake, a stand up comedian and Oprah’s “funniest mom." This is her actual life we are witnessing, or at least the parts of it that are relevant to the particular story she is choosing to tell.
With the very clever precept of literally returning Andrea’s two halves to the correct position, namely firmly attached to each other, there is a huge poster of the two separated parts of Andrea on stage just to be crystal clear. The show covers the time in her life where she truly began to explore her chosen profession, acting. Andrea spent some time as a magician's assistant being sewn if half on a nightly basis, and it is here that the metaphor meets the reality of being a woman…in any kind of business but especially in show business.
Andrea and Victoria’s writing is deft, hilarious and at times bitingly ironic and always very familiar - I am a woman after all! What struck me mostly about this show was how like my own experience Andrea’s was. The family pressures, the dating numbness, the struggle to conform or give up altogether. These are not just female issues of course, they are human issues and I certainly heard plenty of men laughing in the audience I can tell you.
This show is stand up meets “can we talk?” It’s careful to entertain, but not afraid to speak truth, whether we might be comfortable with it or not. It’s a long one act, which is a great choice because we have to stick with her as she careens through her life, sometimes at a thousand miles an hour, but always with a nod to her past, represented by her long-deceased grandmother, who pops up from time to time with advice and fabulously brazen honesty.
This is a great show, and I highly recommend it. Andrea Mevzinsky is wonderful, a truly talented actress and comedian.
The show has a short run, September 16 - October 8, so don’t dawdle, get your tickets now!
Friday and Saturday at 8PM
ACME Theatres & Studios
By Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros