Two short plays offer thought-provoking perspectives. The first one-act play, Joan, by Bernadette Armstrong, provides a fascinating portrayal of famed actress Joan Crawford, reflecting back on her life. The second one-act, What Did They Say, by Wendy Winter, is an intimate window into a family trying to grapple with one another’s differences. Both plays warmly suggest how to deal with challenging aspects of life.
Joan finds the celebrated actress in a limbo state, just after passing away. She paces around the room, philosophizing about her life, while two radio announcers sometimes chime in with commentary from a nearby booth. Goreti da Silva is convincing as Crawford, giving us a believable portrait of a movie icon looking back wistfully at days gone by. I recommend this play for painting a balanced, captivating picture of Crawford’s life and career.
In What Did They Say, we are immersed into a family discussion brimming with comedy and drama. In modern-day Los Angeles, we find family members talking about delicate issues related to how they want to live, and be treated. During some very awkward discussions, the relatives manage to sometimes laugh and smile, to drink wine together and celebrate, and to try to understand one another. I recommend the play as an honest depiction of a family discovering levity in a touchy situation.
“An Evening of One Acts—Joan and What Did They Say” plays Friday and Saturday at 8pm through April 6 at Theatre Unlimited located at 10943 Camarillo St. in North Hollywood. General admission is $20. Visit aneveningofoneacts.brownpapertickets.com.