I SEE YOU MADE AN EFFORT Review - A Woman of a Certain Age

An author with a keen sense of humor and a sharp wit, Annabelle Gurwitch wrote and stars in I SEE YOU MADE AN EFFORT, the very real struggles and achievements of a woman on the precipice of 50. Ms. Gurwitch describes her entry into the alternate universe of middle age by crafting an amusing self portrait of a woman who begins to receive emails from AARP while forgetting where she put her car keys. Like many professional women of our time, she began her family later in life and now ruefully realizes that she is entering menopause as her son is entering puberty. She finds that she has spawned a teenager who has a very narrow range of acceptable behaviors for a mother. Her efforts to comply with his expectations and yet retain her individuality form the basis for some funny and poignant moments in the show. At the same time she is struggling to maintain a meaningful relationship with her son, she also struggles with her own parents’ transition to older age as they send her their “cherished keepsakes” while they “downsize” to move to a senior living facility in Florida. As Ms. Gurwitch quips about their telephone conversations: “The NSA will find a lot of references to the Mayo Clinic.” 

 

The world of computers also gets a nod from Ms. Gurwitch, as she opines her need to preserve brain cells to remember all her passwords and understand cryptic email messages from her husband consisting of strings of consonants: “After 16 years of marriage, all the vowels are disappearing.” The staging of the presentation is sparse, and the only color comes from scenes projected on the back wall. Happily, Ms. Gurwitch’s enthusiasm and passion about the issue of growing older more than compensate for the lack of a set. Although the presentation lacks some warmth, it amply focuses Ms. Gurwitch’s concerns into sharp and vivid prose.

 

Ms. Gurwitch has a long and prolific career as author, actor, NPR commentator, filmmaker, activist, and guest humorist. She uses her many skills to focus on a topic close to her heart. I SEE YOU MADE AN EFFORT is an amusing look at an issue which all of us will face sooner or later - and at Ms. Gurwitch’s efforts to step back and laugh at herself as she navigates the tricky waters of aging, hopefully without drowning. By the way, Ms. Gurwitch currently writes for AARP: “Resistance is futile.”

 

I SEE YOU MADE AN EFFORT, directed by Bart DeLorenzo, runs through June 15, 2015. Shows are at 6 pm on Saturdays, 3 pm on Sundays, and 8 pm on Mondays at the Skylight Theatre Skylab at 1816 ½ N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Tickets are $25. For reservations, call 213-761-7061 or go online 

 

 

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