Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

09 July 2005

I Am My Own Credit Card

Last night, after working 9 1/2 hours, I trekked down to the west side to the Wadsworth Theatre. This is the last weekend for I Am My Own Wife and the options for me seeing it have been very limited what with Jill's wedding and starting rehearsals for a new show. I was supposed to go see an old friend in The Merchant of Venice this weekend, but I opted to see Tony-winner Jefferson Mays instead.

I always feel like a child when I do things like this by myself. I know I ought to feel more adult, but instead the opposite is true. Traveling to Virginia alone, renting a car, buying tickets over the internet, making hotel reservations. I always feel out of place, as though I were an impostor and at any moment someone could take away my right to do these things. Perhaps a sense that I really don't belong is a part of me as a person, something that I carry--something I ought to get rid of. Because, in fact, what allows me to belong is my American Express card. It's rather awful to say that, but it's true, no matter what Chuck Palahniuk says. I belong because I can pay for things. I wonder if that should scare me at all. It probably should, but if anything, it makes me feel safer.

I Am My Own Wife was absolutely sensational and I am very grateful I did not miss it. Jefferson Mays was incredibly versatile and the set design and lighting were surprisingly beautiful and subtle. I love Moisés Kaufman, but I think the direction is occasionally campy where it ought not to be. Perhaps it is an affliction particular to one-person shows: for a character to morph into another character in front of us is, perhaps inherently, to induce us to laugh. Almost every time it happened the audience would laugh. Especially because for it to work, the characters must be very different from one another, that is, slight caricatures.
It's a fabulous show with a lot of fascinating things to say, and the actor is wonderful, but I am wondering if the material would be better-served enacted by a company of actors instead of just the single powerhouse of Jefferson Mays.