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BWW Review: I AM MY OWN WIFE at Fulton Theatre

BWW Review: I AM MY OWN WIFE at Fulton TheatreI Am My Own Wife is a true life tale of survival. The biographical play tells the story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. Charlotte is a transgendered museum curator who built herself a life of strength, acceptance, and understanding in Nazi Germany.

What makes this intriguing play truly remarkable is that all of its 40+ roles are played by a single actor, Kevin Loreque. Wearing a modest dress, kerchief, and pearls for the entirety of the show, Loreque completely embeds von Mahlsdorf. Mannerisms, facial expressions and accent are authentic and carefully ingrained. There is never a moment of camp, misplaced humor, or gross exaggeration as is often found in many theatrical portrayals of transgendered individuals. Instead we are treated to a performance of insight and sympathy.

Loreque effortlessly and distinctly morphs from one character to the next. He carries on a number of dialogues which are are portrayed naturally. He range is especially impressive. I Am My Own Wife is a demanding and complex production, yet Loreque handles the challenge with ease. His talent is only matched by his energy level.

Director, Trey Compton did a great job, especially with the blocking. This is especially notable in a one-man show, when actions sometimes get muddled.

Additional shout outs to Katelin Walsko (props) and Craig Napoliello (scenic design). Both jobs had their work cut out for them. The script calls for any number of obscure antiquities to be referenced and used, (like a 19th century cherry pitter). I would imagine her job to be a never-ending scavenger hunt!

Napoliello makes great use of the black box theater. Stacks and stacks of chairs, tables, and other antique, but highly cluttered pieces of furniture litter the stage to represents the protagonist's "home museum". The chairs in the audience were also eclectic, perhaps to accentuate the play's themes of diversity.

The Fulton's production of I Am My Own Wife is truly a tour de force. It has great acting and a powerful script presented in a dynamic setting.

Tickets and more info can be found at the Fulton website.

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From This Author Rich Mehrenberg