You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Random Acts

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.

performed by Diane Flacks

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.

Random Acts

Opened, reviewed Nov. 29, 1997, at Buddies in Bad Times Theater; 200 seats; C$20 ($14) top.

Production: 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;

Creative: lighting, Lesley Wilkinson; sound, Cathy Nosaty. Running time: 1 HOUR, 20 MIN.

Cast: performed by Diane Flacks

More Legit

  • Hamilton West End Production.

    'Hamilton' Panic Over Mistaken Reports of Gunfire Injures Three in San Francisco

    Three people were injured after mistaken reports of an active shooter at a San Francisco production of “Hamilton” caused attendees to flee the theater. CNN reported that a woman experienced a medical emergency — later determined to be a heart attack — during a scene in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play wherein Founding Father Alexander Hamilton is shot on [...]

  • The American Clock review

    London Theater Review: 'The American Clock'

    Time is money. Money is time. Both come unstuck in “The American Clock.” Arthur Miller’s kaleidoscopic account of the Great Depression, part autobiography, part social history, crawls through the decade after the Wall Street crash, dishing up snapshots of daily life. In the Old Vic’s classy revival, director Rachel Chavkin (“Hadestown”) tunes into the play’s [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Off Broadway Review: Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Sea Wall/A Life'

    Comfy? Okay, let’s talk Death: sudden death, painful death, lingering death, accidental death, and whatever other kinds of death happen to come into the receptive minds of playwrights Simon Stephens (“Sea Wall”) and Nick Payne (“A Life”). The writing in these separate monologues — playing together on a double bill at the Public Theater — [...]

  • Michael Jackson Estate Cancels Musical Test-Run

    Michael Jackson Estate Cancels Musical Test-Run

    With an HBO documentary that places strong allegations of abuse against Michael Jackson premiering in two weeks, the late singer’s estate announced Thursday that it’s canceling a scheduled Chicago test run of a jukebox musical about him. The estate and its producing partner in the musical, Columbia Live Stage, said that they’re setting their sights on going [...]

  • All About Eve review

    West End Review: Gillian Anderson and Lily James in 'All About Eve'

    To adapt a crass old adage: it’s “All About Eve,” not “All About Steve.” Stripping Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s sharp-witted screenplay about a waning theater star of its period trappings, Ivo van Hove’s stage adaptation fine-tunes its feminism for our own sexist age — image-obsessed, anti-aging, the time of Time’s Up. Rather than blaming Lily James’ [...]

  • Adam Shankman

    Listen: Why Adam Shankman Directs Every Movie Like It's a Musical

    Director Adam Shankman’s latest movie, the Taraji P. Henson comedy “What Men Want,” isn’t a musical. But as one of Hollywood’s top director-choreographers of musicals and musical sequences, he approaches even non-musicals with a sense of tempo. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “When I read a script, it processes in my head like a [...]

  • Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella' Review

    L.A. Theater Review: Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella'

    How much can you change “Cinderella” before it is no longer “Cinderella”? In the case of choreography maestro Matthew Bourne — who, it should be said, first unveiled his spin on the classic folk tale some 22 years ago — the music is most certainly “Cinderella” (Prokofiev’s 1945 score, to be exact), but the plot [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content