Review: A SINGULAR THEY Brilliantly Commands Your Riveted Uneasiness

A SINGULAR THEY/by Aliza Goldstein/directed by Christopher J. Raymond/The Blank Theatre's 2nd Stage/thru May 1, 2016

The Blank Theatre's world premiere of Aliza Goldstein's A SINGULAR THEY successfully pulls off a mesmerizing mash-up of uncomfortable situations teenagers have to deal with. Christopher J. Raymond smoothly directs this engrossing seventy-five minute one-act eliciting fully-formed performances from his talented cast of three. Goldstein's dialogue for the two teenage characters actually sound like two seventeen-year-olds arguing, bantering, encouraging, gossiping. Lily Nicksay and Hannah Prichard both totally embody their respective roles of senior classmates/BFFs Burbank and Dierdre.

Dierdre has been knocked up. So her mother arranges the soon-to-be-born's adoption to a well-to-do, health-enthused young couple. Burbank, besides dealing with losing her virginity, also wrestles with the not-as-common gender identity. A second round of surgeries could and would make Burbank a complete female (biologically). Nicksay and Prichard easily convey the tight, sometimes mature (sometimes not), sometimes rational (oft times not) relationship Burbank and Dierdre have. Each have their individual moments to shine -- Nicksay in her deeply-felt "Who am I?" monologues and Prichard in her vivid, description of giving birth.

Their science teacher Mr. Mazer seems to be the only person who seemingly accepts Burbank as the person Burbank is. As close as Dierdre is to Burbank, and in spite of how hard Dierdre tries; Dierdre still lets loose moments of her non-acceptance of Burbank, formerly "Christine." Nick Ballard effectively portrays Mr. Mazer as a curious, conflicting mix of concern, aloofness, and authority-savvy -- all directed to the young, questioning, gender-perplexed Burbank. Ballard's Mr. Mazer can relate to Burbank's sexual identity isolation and tries to offer an ear and advice on how to deal with her gender transitions. Mr. Mazer agrees to refer to Burbank as "They" (not 'she' or 'he') when talking to others. But, what line or lines will be crossed here between teacher and student? Will it go there??? No spoiler alert here!

Interesting that in A SINGULAR THEY, what originally seemed to be the main focus (gender identity) quickly takes a backseat to Dierdre's pregnancy or the 'relationship' between Mr. Mazur and Burbank. Then right back again. All very smoothly written and performed.

Kudos to both Aaron Lyons for his fairly elaborate, multi-locale set, dressed with much detail by props designer Michael O'Hara; especially outstanding for a small equity-waiver house. Rebecca Kessin's background sounds and music certainly heighten the urgency of the more edgy scenes.


Review: A TRANSPARENT MUSICAL at Mark Taper Forum Photo
Review: A TRANSPARENT MUSICAL at Mark Taper Forum

Soloway and their cast and crew have created a new classic that should reverberate with people of all stripes

Towne Street Theatre Now Accepting Submissions For 10-Minute Play and Film Festival Photo
Towne Street Theatre Now Accepting Submissions For 10-Minute Play and Film Festival

Towne Street Theatre (TST), Los Angeles's premier African American Theatre Company, is now accepting submissions for its well-known 10-minute play festival. For the first time, Towne Street is including a short film festival to complement its theatre production. Submissions for both festivals are due by June 21 at 11:59 pm PST.

QUEEN MABS ALARMINGLY MANDATORY BRIDAL SHOWER to Premiere at The 2023 Hollywood Fringe Fes Photo
QUEEN MAB'S ALARMINGLY MANDATORY BRIDAL SHOWER to Premiere at The 2023 Hollywood Fringe Festival

This summer's Hollywood Fringe Festival will see the world premiere fundraiser event of a one-hour one-woman musical comedy featuring the Artistic Director of New Musicals Inc, Elise Dewsberry; with book and lyrics by New Musicals Inc. Executive Director Scott Guy and music by Jacques Offenbach. Additional music by Max Bruch, Michele Esposito, and Ken Neufeld.

Banda Las Angelinas and Los Rock Angels Will Perform At Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles Photo
Banda Las Angelinas and Los Rock Angels Will Perform At Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles

Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles will present Banda Las Angelinas and Los Rock Angels on June 25, 2023.


#repshow# in[i]# Gunhild Carling Big Band
Catalina Jazz Supper Club (6/14-6/14)Tracker VIDEOS
#repshow# in[i]# Celebration Theatre presents A New Brain
Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center (4/29-6/24)Tracker
#repshow# in[i]# For the Love of a Glove: An Unauthorized Musical Fable About Michael Jackson As Told By His Glove
Carl Sagan And Ann Druyan Theater (5/05-7/01)Tracker PHOTOS VIDEOS
#repshow# in[i]# How to Be An Ending
Hudson Guild Theatre (6/01-6/24)
#repshow# in[i]# Eleanor
North Coast Repertory Theatre (6/07-7/02)
#repshow# in[i]# Birds and the Curiosity
The Hudson Theatre's Mainstage (6/09-6/25)CAST
#repshow# in[i]# The Year That Carrie Fisher Died
The Actors Company - Other Space Theatre (6/04-6/24)
#repshow# in[i]# The Ants
Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater (6/20-7/30)
Coachella Valley Repertory (7/13-7/13)
#repshow# in[i]# How to Be an Ending
Hudson Guild Theatre (6/01-6/24)

Recommended For You