One woman shows can be great or they can be miserable. I have to admit that I had my doubts when going into the Complex theatre (6470 Santa Monica) last Sunday night, but I was pleasantly surprised. There was both pathos and humor in this retelling. We're invited into the childhood home of Gloria Rosen where everything is wired to flash lights. We see what happens when she tries to pretend to be deaf to make friends and how she deals with her parents' handicap.
While it could have been a bit more funnier in parts, this auto-biographical portrayal of living as a hearing daughter of deaf parents, Listen…Can You Hear Me Now? is a well told, well done tale of life in the world of the deaf and of growing up in a sheltered environment…where you might think you are safe, but you aren't always and where everything is colored by the history of your parents' responses. Audiences, regardless of their background, will be able to identify with the play especially the relationship between the mother and daughter. We all can relate to trying to find our place in the world and never feeling that we really belong anywhere.
Staring Gloria Rosen, who also wrote this auto-biographical show, the program was conceived by Peter Flint and produced by Mike Abramson, Michael Leoni, Michelle Kaufer and Erica Katzin and directed by Michael Leoni. Realistic sounds were provided by Marco Ortoli, while Jake Lloyd designed an fetching poster. Sound, scenic and lighting design were provided by An 11:11 experiment. This producing team also is doing LA's smash hit Elevator and the critically acclaimed street rock musical, The Playground.
Listen…Can You Hear Me Now? has been performed twice at the Los Angles Women's Theatre Festival and in New York at the Estrogenius Solo Voce as well as "Women At Work" Festival at the Stage Left Theatre. The play has also been selected to perform at the NY International Fringe Festival in August 2013 (information on that can be had at www.fringenyc.org.)
The limited edition show runs only three more performances on Saturday at 3:30 and 7pm as well as Sunday at 6:15. Cost of the performance is $15/ticket. For tickets and information go to 323 362 2053 or www.hollywoodfringe.org.
There is an accessibility issue as the theatre has three stairs which must be navigated to enter. However, if the person can negotiate a few stairs, there is plenty of places for them to sit at the top of the theatre. It is a family friendly show but encouraged for 13+ and there are flashing lights for those who are sensitive to that. There is no sign language interpretation for these shows.
Street parking is also limited, but you can park down the street at the Hudson Theatre parking lot for $5.