Random Acts," Diane Flacks' third one-woman show, is a case of exceptional performance skills overshadowing a reasonable writing talent. The play weaves a story around three disparate images: a woman in a wheelchair trying to sneeze (an embittered self-help guru who was hit by a bus), a woman drinking tequila while listening to her stereo (a lesbian, dumped by her lover and looking in vain for inspiration from the crippled guru) and a biblical matriarch pregnant at 99.
In addition to the main characters, Flacks portrays a host of cameos, including a prissy assistant and a gum-chewing Latina tow-truck driver. The way in which the characters flow back and forth throughout the piece, their various social and cultural struggles and the seamless performance by Flacks, who removes and adds characters like a series of second skins, firmly position this Toronto actor-writer as Canada's answer to Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner.
But one difference is that Wagner’s material achieves a universality despite the specificity of her characters, while Flacks has created a show that will probably resonate more strongly with lesbian audiences than with the general public. Whether this is by design or as a result of writing that needs to stretch further is hard to say.
Flacks would do well to take her characters beyond the superficially quirky and the expected. Her acting skills are too extraordinary to be held down by a less than perfect text.
Opened, reviewed Nov. 29, 1997, at Buddies in Bad Times Theater; 200 seats; C$20 ($14) top.
TORONTO A Mything Prods., Nightwood Theater and Buddies in Bad Times presentation of a play in one act written and performed by Diane Flacks. Directed by Alisa Palmer. Set, Vikki Anderson;
With the rumbling of semis careening by and the sound of Middle Eastern music in the distance, “The Jungle” aims to vividly immerse audiences into the world of the real-life migrant and refugee camp of the same name. By telling the story of the Jungle’s creation in Calais, France, in 2015, and its eventual destruction [...]
A 1976 film might not be expected to translate seamlessly to Broadway in 2018, but for the cast and creative team behind “Network,” which premiered Thursday night with Hillary Clinton in the audience, the story still feels uncomfortably close to home. “It was a satire then, and now it’s documentary realism,” said Lee Hall, who [...]
The 1976 film “Network” won four Academy Awards, including best original screenplay for writer Paddy Chayefsky, for its blistering portrayal of an American society fueled by greed and bloated on corruption. A haggard Peter Finch took the best actor trophy for his harrowing performance as Howard Beale, a TV newsman who is so disgusted by [...]
Faye Dunaway will return to Broadway to play another acting diva. The Oscar-winner is set to portray Katharine Hepburn in “Tea at Five,” a one-woman play that charts the movie legend’s career over the course of a winding monologue. Dunaway last appeared on Broadway in 1982’s “The Curse of the Aching Heart.” In the 1990s, [...]
Veteran character actor Philip Bosco, who won a Tony Award in 1989 for “Lend Me a Tenor” as an opera impresario and was nominated five other times, died Monday, according to his grandson, Luke Bosco. He was 88. Bosco received his first Tony nomination for “Rape of the Belt” in 1960. His other nominations were [...]
Hugh Jackman could have spent his hiatus between movies soaking up rays in Saint-Tropez. Instead of lounging poolside, the movie star will return to the stage for a grueling series of arena performances that will take him across Europe, Australia, and the U.S. The upcoming musical extravaganza, “The Man. The Music. The Show.,” kicks off [...]
Kanye West may have caused some unwanted drama at the opening of Broadway’s “The Cher Show” on Monday in New York, but thankfully his alleged bad behavior didn’t come close to spoiling the evening. Cher herself caused fantastic frenzy as she glided down the aisle of the jam-packed Neil Simon Theatre toward her seat. All [...]