BWW Reviews: Funny & Relatable Annabelle Gurwitch Succeeds with her I SEE YOU MADE AN EFFORT

By: May. 18, 2015
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I See You Made an Effort/written by Annabelle Gurwitch/directed by Bart DeLorenzo/Skylight Theatre Skylab/thru June 8, 2015

In the Los Angeles premiere of I See You Made an Effort; Annabelle Gurwitch adeptly performs excerpts from her bestselling book of the same title. Gurwitch possesses a charismatic stage presence while definitively in control of her own storytelling. The main theme of her book/play revolves around her issues with reaching the magical age of 50.

Funny and relatable narratives include: strangers' perceptions of her advancing age (she's not acknowledging it); the sudden onslaught of AARP solicitations (she can't be that old yet); publications not even recognizing her age group (sample article title, "Looking Good at 30, 40 and Beyond"); taking Ezra, her 14-yr-old son to a punk rock concert headlined by Titus Andronicus. (The list of actions Gurwitch's not to do to embarrass Ezra's hysterically endless.)

"Sandwiched" between raising Ezra and taking care of her aging parents. Gurwitch constantly juggles her priorities. Should she spend monies for better home care for her folks? Or save it for Ezra's college fund? Or simply invest in some retail therapy for herself? (Spoiler Alert! She does it all!) Gurwitch just can't say "no" to her mom shipping her more and more family heirlooms Gurwitch deem useless (salt bowls, full set of champagne glasses with ice bucket).

Effective use of Jason H. Thompson's video images provide complementary visual aids to various highlights of her stories (AARP couples, kitchen counters, computer language scrolling, profile photos, rock concert ambiance). Director Bart DeLorenzo guides Gurwitch through her retelling of her hilarious everyday experiences at a steady, fast clip. Only change in pace, an extended effectual use of video showing Gurwitch as a silver-haired model (of a certain age) demonstrating the various methods to tying a scarf (for women of a certain age). Too funny.


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