×
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.

With:
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

  • Signature Theatre Celebrates Millionth Subsidized Ticket

    Signature Theatre Offers $35 Subsidized Tickets, Celebrates Millionth Sold

    Just the other night, a Manhattan cab driver told Signature Theatre executive director Harold Wolpert that he couldn’t afford to take his girlfriend to a show. In response, Wolpert motioned to his theater, saying that they offer $35 subsidized tickets. The driver said he’d try it out. “It was a great moment,” Wolpert said. “We’re [...]

  • SOCRATES The Public Theater

    Tim Blake Nelson Waxes Philosophical on Writing a Play About Socrates

    Despite Tim Blake Nelson’s knack for playing folksy characters in films such as “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” in his soul lurks the heart of a classicist. Nelson, who stars in HBO’s “Watchmen” series this fall, has also penned the play “Socrates,” now running at New York’s Public Theater through June 2. Doug Hughes directs, [...]

  • TodayTix - Brian Fenty

    TodayTix Banks $73 Million to Boost Theater and Arts Ticketing App

    TodayTix, a Broadway-born mobile ticketing start-up, is looking to expand into a bigger global media and transaction enterprise with a capital infusion of $73 million led by private-equity firm Great Hill Partners. The investment brings TodayTix’s total capital raised to over $100 million, according to CEO and co-founder Brian Fenty. Part of the new funding [...]

  • Ethan Hawke, Bobby Cannavale and Griffin

    BAM Gala Marks Leadership Change, Celebrates Brooklyn as 'Cultural Center of New York'

    Wednesday’s annual gala celebrating the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) served as a poignant moment of transition for the New York stalwart of contemporary performance. As long-time artistic director Joe Melillo, who along with Harvey Lichtenstein transformed BAM into a vanguard of progressive art, prepares to pass the torch to new leadership, gathered patrons and [...]

  • Tootsie Santino Fontana

    Listen: Santino Fontana on How Broadway's 'Tootsie' Was Adapted for Our Times

    Broadway’s “Tootsie” has turned into one of this season’s Tony Awards frontrunners, winning raves for its deftly funny update of potentially problematic source material — and for a firecracker cast led by Tony nominee Santino Fontana (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Frozen”), who makes his character’s transformation, from difficult actor Michael Dorsey to female alter ego Dorothy Michaels, [...]

  • Death of a Salesman review

    London Theater Review: 'Death of a Salesman'

    August Wilson famously disavowed the idea of an all-black “Death of a Salesman.” In 1996, he declared any such staging “an assault on our presence and our difficult but honorable history in America.” Arthur Miller’s antihero is no everyman, Wilson implied; Willy Loman is very specifically white. Critic John Lahr was inclined to agree: “To [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content