Weedman amazes in this solo-performance-style storytelling. Going back and forth between the characters (some of whom we only experience for seconds), and concentrating on six main women for whom we feel compassion, she displays an unassuming knack for the acting craft. One understands why we may not have noticed the actress from her TV and film roles: She grounds her characters in humanity and humor, quickly establishing a specific physicality to each one. The actress effectively hides inside her creations, letting them do the work. (Go back and find her work online on The Daily Show or on HBO's Hung, and you’ll get a good taste of this.)
As a writer and performer, Weedman is a gifted comedian, having honed jokes and timing in several prior autobiographical plays and solo performances, essays, TV shows like Reno 911, and the recent big-screen release, The Five-Year Engagement.
When one gets caught for something horrendous — say a crime, or lying about rape — people naturally assume the worst about the perpetrator. Weedman brings to light what it feels like to be the accused: the wall people face in trying to tell their side of the story; the need to be heard, understood, and survive; and the “busted” feeling that they have no power, and that the story is out of their hands. Those are feelings to which we all can relate.
This Cleveland Play House presentation is a fresh, funny, sobering experience. With only two more performances — tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. — act fast before your chance to see it goes bust, too.
Find tickets and details here. — Dan Kilbane