Andrea Martin's Nude Nude Totally Nude (Canon Theatre, Beverly Hills:372 seats; $ 37.50 top) Susan Dietz, Joan Stein and Livent Inc. (U.S.) present a performance piece in one act written and performed by Andrea Martin; director, Walter Bobbie; special material, Bruce Vilanch; scenic design, Loren Sherman; lighting, Spike Lynn (based on original design by Brian MacDevitt); costumes, John Gromada; music director, Seth Rudetsky; pianist, Stephen Marzullo. Opened, reviewed Oct. 13; 1996; runs through Nov. 10. Running time: 1 hour, 20 min. Cast: Andrea Martin. Andrea Martin's one woman show is an intriguing amalgam of the new and the old, mixing soft, controlled, humor-tinged examinations of her life with scenery-gobbling revisits to some of her most popular characterizations developed during her seven-year stint on the revue-based "SCTV" TV series. The transitions from one mood to another are often chunky but the talent of this woman never fails to shine through. Performing in front of Loren Sherman's all-purpose set, Martin utilizes a projection of Edward Hopper's painting "Lonely Woman in a Cheap Hotel" to set the mood for the evening. Dressed in a skin-toned body suit, Martin strikes the same pose as the nude figure from the painting to alert the audience to the soul-baring that lies ahead. Walter Bobbie's directorial hand is minimally evident as Martin roams around such subjects as dating (or the lack of), raising two boys as a divorced mom, having an affair with a much younger man, discovering her Armenian roots and reconciling her relationship with her own mother. Along the way, Martin is assisted greatly by backstage pianist Stephen Marzullo. Martin looks at her life with almost helpless wonder, starting with a survey of one chaotic day in the life of a single, working mother with two boys. Describing the laborious process of getting them off to school, she states, "I blow them a kiss, they give me the finger." Relating her brief affair, at age 47, with a teenage boy, she muses, "When he gets to be my age, I'll be dead." The most poignant episode comes as Martin unfolds the awakening to her Armenian heritage, describing two trips back to the motherland and giving passionate reference to the attempted genocides that have been inflicted on her people. She sums up her feelings by re-creating a bittersweet plane ride home from Europe when she heaps attention onto an elderly Armenian woman sitting next to her, wishing she had demonstrated the same care for her own departed grandmother. Martin also pays a visit to her divorced mother, re-creating a Christmas Eve at age 13, as her mom cheerfully sings "Feliz Navidad" and offers her own version of life's bitter truths. In a later visit, Martin recalls her dying mother giving her a final benediction by declaring, "You are enough." One telling moment comes when she describes her efforts to force Christianity onto her unwilling children. Observing her failed efforts a priest advises her, "Why don't you find out what God means to you first and leave your boys alone." This very personal journey through her life is intermittently interrupted by jarring but often hilarious visits from such "SCTV" personae as Dr. Cheryl Kinsey, the ultimately repressed sex therapist; Dutch Van Dyke, the lesbian children's entertainer who warbles the gender-aware ditty, "Betty the Big, Big Beaver;" the menopausal TV personality Libby Wolfson; and a riotous English lesson with gibberish-spouting Perini Sclerosa. As an expected encore to the evening, Martin does a turn as the indefatigable Edith Prickly, who spits out her response for those who criticize her for wearing an animal skin, "Do you know how many animals I had to sleep with to get it?" As gifted as Martin is with her well-worn personalities, she is truly memorable in her own life-acquired revelations, which can stand alone without the added shtick.

Andrea Martin’s Nude Nude Totally Nude (Canon Theatre, Beverly Hills:372 seats; $ 37.50 top) Susan Dietz, Joan Stein and Livent Inc. (U.S.) present a performance piece in one act written and performed by Andrea Martin; director, Walter Bobbie; special material, Bruce Vilanch; scenic design, Loren Sherman; lighting, Spike Lynn (based on original design by Brian MacDevitt); costumes, John Gromada; music director, Seth Rudetsky; pianist, Stephen Marzullo. Opened, reviewed Oct. 13; 1996; runs through Nov. 10. Running time: 1 hour, 20 min. Cast: Andrea Martin. Andrea Martin’s one woman show is an intriguing amalgam of the new and the old, mixing soft, controlled, humor-tinged examinations of her life with scenery-gobbling revisits to some of her most popular characterizations developed during her seven-year stint on the revue-based “SCTV” TV series. The transitions from one mood to another are often chunky but the talent of this woman never fails to shine through. Performing in front of Loren Sherman’s all-purpose set, Martin utilizes a projection of Edward Hopper’s painting “Lonely Woman in a Cheap Hotel” to set the mood for the evening. Dressed in a skin-toned body suit, Martin strikes the same pose as the nude figure from the painting to alert the audience to the soul-baring that lies ahead. Walter Bobbie’s directorial hand is minimally evident as Martin roams around such subjects as dating (or the lack of), raising two boys as a divorced mom, having an affair with a much younger man, discovering her Armenian roots and reconciling her relationship with her own mother. Along the way, Martin is assisted greatly by backstage pianist Stephen Marzullo. Martin looks at her life with almost helpless wonder, starting with a survey of one chaotic day in the life of a single, working mother with two boys. Describing the laborious process of getting them off to school, she states, “I blow them a kiss, they give me the finger.” Relating her brief affair, at age 47, with a teenage boy, she muses, “When he gets to be my age, I’ll be dead.” The most poignant episode comes as Martin unfolds the awakening to her Armenian heritage, describing two trips back to the motherland and giving passionate reference to the attempted genocides that have been inflicted on her people. She sums up her feelings by re-creating a bittersweet plane ride home from Europe when she heaps attention onto an elderly Armenian woman sitting next to her, wishing she had demonstrated the same care for her own departed grandmother. Martin also pays a visit to her divorced mother, re-creating a Christmas Eve at age 13, as her mom cheerfully sings “Feliz Navidad” and offers her own version of life’s bitter truths. In a later visit, Martin recalls her dying mother giving her a final benediction by declaring, “You are enough.” One telling moment comes when she describes her efforts to force Christianity onto her unwilling children. Observing her failed efforts a priest advises her, “Why don’t you find out what God means to you first and leave your boys alone.” This very personal journey through her life is intermittently interrupted by jarring but often hilarious visits from such “SCTV” personae as Dr. Cheryl Kinsey, the ultimately repressed sex therapist; Dutch Van Dyke, the lesbian children’s entertainer who warbles the gender-aware ditty, “Betty the Big, Big Beaver;” the menopausal TV personality Libby Wolfson; and a riotous English lesson with gibberish-spouting Perini Sclerosa. As an expected encore to the evening, Martin does a turn as the indefatigable Edith Prickly, who spits out her response for those who criticize her for wearing an animal skin, “Do you know how many animals I had to sleep with to get it?” As gifted as Martin is with her well-worn personalities, she is truly memorable in her own life-acquired revelations, which can stand alone without the added shtick.

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