Lies, Anger and Forgiveness

spleen76 · Ages 18+ · Italy

one person show
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Review by anonymous

August 20, 2021 certified reviewer
tagged as: witty · revealing · passionate

What I liked

This is a tight, well-directed and beautifully performed piece. The staging is creative and evocative, use of lights and sound highlight and reinforce the emotional moments without overpowering or stereotyping (unless deliberately so.) It was revealing and honest without becoming self-indulgent.

What I didn't like

This is a solo show that could be expanded to showcase the performer’s vocal and dance skill – there were glimpses of these, but in the short form of this piece, I understand those were not essential to the more important story.

My overall impression

This story resonates with artists struggling with loneliness and estrangement, and especially for those who’ve left everything behind and crossed oceans to “pursue the American/Hollywood Dream.” One of the most powerful, well-crafted, and well-performed solo performances I’ve seen at HFF, this show was a delight for the full house on a Monday night. Strong, emotionally rich acting by a charismatic performer – she strikes this viewer as a combination of Valentina Cortese and (yes) Anna Magnani with a little Gilda Radner in the more child-like and heart-breaking moments. Barbara’s work is brave – with her soulful, penetrating eyes and husky voice, and she grabbed the audience from her entrance, suitcase in tow, and held us to her final, inclusive gesture of forgiveness and affirmation.

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