An impeccably accurate depiction of the cut-throat world of “advertising” in the 1960’s…I never miss an episode! (Sunday nights at 10 p.m.).
“Anais – An Erotic Evening with Anais Nin – A World Premiere”
A Cuban-French-Catalan author, born in 1903, she lived a passionate and often shocking life, until the age of seventy seven.
A free spirited and highly sexual woman, Anais was a critically acclaimed writer of female erotica. She was a close friend and in some cases, a “lover” of many leading literary figures, including Henry Miller. This steamy one woman play was written and directed by Michael Phillips and based on Nin’s provocative diaries. A lovely looking Sonia Maslovskaya stars in a well intended performance, that while at times is undeniably sensual…was largely lackluster. Solo plays are tough to pull off…and to be riveting, they require multi-dynamics, and an intricate connection between the director and actor. This one needs a bit more of both! Billed as “an emotional, shattering journey of secrets, seduction and betrayal,” it takes place in the early 1950’s, at a mental institution. June Miller, wife of the legendary writer, Henry Miller, is a patient here, after a suicide attempt. Anais secretly goes to visit her, after a 20 year separation. Through conversations with June, a doctor, and Henry…Anais recalls her erotic encounters with both the infamous Miller and his wife, in a gripping search for closure. Sounds tantalizingly titillating, doesn’t it? Sadly, for the most part, this production was sorely lacking the necessary components for “captivating” theatre…in what could’ve been an evening of naughty, voyeuristic pleasure. Some changes in pacing and directorial choices would benefit the overall impact greatly.
Phillips script itself was quite beautifully and erotically written, but the “sameness” of the journey as it unfolded soon became tiresome. A “bare bones” set, dismal lighting, and lack of dynamics, minimized the potentially shocking outcome.
Hopefully by now, some adjustments will have been made, as the historically provocative subject matter is most intriguing. As an opening night bonus: a quartet of gifted dancers from the “American Ballet of Los Angeles,” performed for us at intermission. Kudos to Eddy Hawks, Kat Hawks, Chasen Greenwood and Natalie Kramer for a gracefully creative musical treat! Loving theatre as I do, and having reviewed thousands of productions through the years…it pains me to be so critical…but sometimes it is unavoidable. Running through Oct. 16 at Sherry Theatre, 11052 Magnolia Blvd. in NoHo. Call 818-506-9863 for more information. To book seats visit www.plays411.com/anais.
Mark your Calendar: October 8th
The always cutting-edge and inventive Road Theatre in NoHo, will open THE BUTCHER OF BARABOO. Never afraid to offer outrageously controversial works…this one written by Marisa Wegrzyn, sounds “right up their alley!” The press sheet states: “It’s cold, it’s crowded, and it’s caffeinated… What’s a woman with a meat cleaver to do?” I’m intrigued…For early booking, go to www.roadtheatre.org.
As the daylight hours of summer diminish…get out and have some fun!