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A Piece of Work

solo performance · coyle & co · Ages 18+ · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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Review by KENDALL GILBERT

June 04, 2018

What I liked

Although I appreciate the Encyclopedia in the program, something about encouraging people to read it before the show rubbed me the wrong way.

What I didn't like

There are a couple of times where the 4th wall was broken and although it wasn’t a big deal, it always seemed to happen in a time when Laura seemed nervous or something wasn’t going to plan. It wasn’t major, but does affect the overall polish of the show. I think more parallels can be drawn between her parents’ relationship, and the ones she has. Or even just the one she has with her mom and her later romantic relationships. There is a thread in this show, it’s about trying to fix ourselves by fixing others, realizing that is flawed thinking, and ultimately just accepting/forgiving them. I wonder if her father did that. I wonder if in heaven, in this evolved state, she would actually still be trying to hand him Anna Kerenina. Would she be trying to “fix” him? Maybe she finally looked down at Laura and could say, “You know what? That song didn’t need a bridge- it’s perfect.”

My overall impression

One-woman shows require such a range of talent, intrigue, and stamina and Laura certainly delivered. She thoughtfully and yet seemingly effortlessly spun a deeply personal narrative between songs. The music was honest and haunting. Laura took us on a journey of relatable self-doubt, self-discovery, and self-love, with a humor and gut wrenching clarity. Understanding her song-writing journey had me hanging on her every lyric. She plays beautifully and has a gorgeous voice, but what was most beautiful about this performance was her complete vulnerability on stage. I walked away feeling like Laura let me know her – and somehow myself, a bit better.

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