In one-woman show, Weeks makes every character come alive

Reviewed by Ralph Hall

The question is:  How many characters can one actor successfully create and portray in one 90-minute monologue?  In Slut, produced this week (Feb. 28 and 29) at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City, Heidi Weeks established a persona for numerous characters in such depth that she revealed much of the heart and soul of each. In this one-woman show, her creations were so complete that the audience was always able to understand their history, emotions and desires.

Rapidly shifting from character to character, Matilda (Weeks’ primary persona) maintained an ongoing dialogue with several people who gave new meaning to the word “slut.” The piece, authored by Brenda McFarlane, was written at Weeks’ request for an HBO Comedy Festival audition. This piece gives the viewer a full story-line production, providing non-standard thinking about the sexual motivations of one woman and her lovers. When the “standard” does fit neatly into the boxes of those viewing and judging her, Matilda becomes the wayward one forced to explain, defend and enroll her accusers.

Weeks is a rare actor who can use bits and pieces of personality development to present characters in depth for the audience.  A full stage of characters created by her (and the playwright) blends into a very powerful monologue with a believable and powerful message. Whenever the opportunity is there, no one should miss any performances by this talented performer.

The play was directed powerfully by Drew Kahl. The lighting and costume design outstandingly supported this production. A very full house enjoyed “Slut.” (I attended the first of two sold-out performances.)

COMING UP

At 7 p.m. March 10, the Goodwill Theatre’s Schorr Family Firehouse Stage, 46-48 Willow St., Johnson City, will present Sully, Tales of an Irish American Youth. Patrick O’Sullivan’s one-man show gives a comedic and heartfelt reflection of experiences growing up in the Irish immigrant culture of the San Francisco Bay Area. Cost: $15 (students, $10).

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