The spacious and fireplace-warmed Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica was the venue for The Animal Monologues, the multi-media/multi-species one-woman show by performing musician/media installation artist Amy Raasch.
Appearing first as a human scientist in a white lab coat, Raasch then dons multiple masks and costumes corresponding to the identity of each animal that recites their own animal monologue, bringing us into their minds and habitats—a mere stone’s throw away from the lights and sounds of urban Los Angeles. With the aid of video projection, Raasch takes us on a journey into the primal. Oh yes, these animals have both tails and tales.
We meet a bear, a fox, a fawn and even a lemming who educates us on the origin of the “lemmings over a cliff” folklore brought to us by a Disney film crew performing cinematic stunts that would have PETA up in arms. Raasch also embodies cats, both domestic and wild, deftly personifying local favorite P-22, the mountain lion who is “the only living animal to successfully cross both the 101 and 405 freeways” in search of mating or even to just see another like himself. The screen projects a nighttime image of the solitary cat in front of the iconic Hollywood Sign, almost a metaphor for loneliness itself. This particular portion had this reviewer in near tears as I myself have followed the saga of mountain lions in the L.A. area.
Despite a heavy-handed message of vegetarianism, this one-woman show was a tantalizing treat even for this beastly carnivore.
Amy Raasch’s “The Animal Monologues” was on stage Saturday, February 23 at Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica. Visit AmyRaasch.com and TheAnimalMonologues.com for more information.