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Review: A Thread of Happiness Unwinds In Crispino's THIS WOULD LOOK GOOD ON YOU

Review: A Thread of Happiness Unwinds In Crispino's THIS WOULD LOOK GOOD ON YOU In this time especially, the world needs to experience theater. Theater that will procure a smile, be cause for tears, bring about a sense of nostalgia for memories past and hope for better times to come. The world needs artists who stir any and every sort of emotion within - those beautiful souls who bring their stories to the stage as an assured beacon of hope to all those who look for light in these darkened days.

Sometimes, the world doesn't need a message or cause - seeing a show doesn't have to incite change or bring with it a commentary of any kind. Sometimes, you simply want to see a great performance and tell everyone you know about it - how it was a spontaneous burst of happiness that only certain people in the world have the power of passing onto others. That show is This Would Look Good On You, the second installment of a semi-autobiographical series by Orietta Crispino that recently came to NYC's Theaterlab.

This Would Look Good On You is the experience - even a life goal - we have all been searching to fulfill. Directed by Liza Cassidy and written/performed by Crispino, this 50-minute production is a romp through Crispino's life through the various pieces of clothing she has accumulated throughout the years. Neatly hung on hangers and kept safe within boxes, these garments have either been passed on to her by family and friends, or personally purchased during more adventurous times of her life. From dresses to stockings, pajamas to lingerie and some perfectly matching handbags, Crispino's soul is soon on display with each preserved garment she reveals. With each whisk of her hand, with each spark of inspiration that crosses her face when she finds the perfect shade of purple (all of them), the audience's collective heart flutters with excitement. Watching Crispino make her way across the stage, snatching vivid hues of blue and yellow off of their hangers with the excitement of a child in a candy store, her mother watching proudly in the distance, is the perfect way to spend an hour of your life.

Crispino is quite the force to be reckoned with - a sweet, lovable force, but a force nonetheless. Born in Italy, she attended the prestigious Piccolo Teatro School in Milan and later became an actress, teacher, writer and director. She is the founding artistic director of Theaterlab, and brings This Would Look Good On You to the stage as part of the theater's exciting season. And truly, what a beautiful portrayal of personal art to bring into people's lives. Watching Crispino dart here and there in harried excitement - a woman so overtaken by clothing that has served as a constant reminder of who she is, yet as ecstatic to tell their stories as if seeing old acquaintances for the first time in forty years - is nothing short of spectacular. Review: A Thread of Happiness Unwinds In Crispino's THIS WOULD LOOK GOOD ON YOU

Seeing the flurry of different materials fly from hanger to ironing board, the way she proudly approaches each member of the audience to show off a vintage Louis Vuitton dress that puts everything I own to shame - the treasure she holds in her hands create moments of pure joy that force the audience reevaluate their entire lives. It took about twenty minutes into the show for me to realize that, if you aren't as passionate about life as Crispino is, then you're living it all wrong. She sees life in dazzling color, in shades of vivid blues and vibrant yellows that bring with them both joy and sadness - memories of thinner waistlines, busy work days and times gone by. Yet memories aren't meant to be lamented over, but celebrated - life is meant to be celebrated, by whatever means make us happiest. And in Crispino's happiness is our own happiness found - how her energy, purity of spirit in trying on a stocking here, a high heel there and throwing a flowing skirt over her head, makes me wish she were a relative of mine whom I can visit and listen to her stories every weekend on end.

So here I am - a quick shopping trip to Macy's for a new wardrobe later, and it's time to write about how wonderful a show This Would Look Good On You is. Simply put, it is as fun as it is inspirational - significant in its fundamental simplicity. Crispino's performance gives such a poignant look into our lives and what we call our own. She makes us see how much people have given to us, how much we own, and to be given the chance to grasp it (like a piece of clothing) is just so, so special. From her gift of creativity, to her obvious flair for theater and fashion, Crispino's show is a much needed breath of fresh air which I cannot recommend highly enough. I truly hope to see each piece of this trilogy performed someday - how utterly fantastic would that be! And I'll be sure to dress up for the occasion, since I now have some new clothes to show off.

Review: A Thread of Happiness Unwinds In Crispino's THIS WOULD LOOK GOOD ON YOU This Would Look Good On You was recently performed at Theaterlab (located at 357 W. 36th Street) from September 23rd thru October 3rd. The piece was written/performed by Orietta Crispino and directed by Liza Cassidy, as part of Theaterlab's exciting season. Upcoming shows include The Gallery Series, Ghosts and the Body Theater and Baby - please be sure to check out some details at www.theaterlabnyc.com. As a non-profit organization run by a team of female writers, directors, producers and dramaturgs, Theaterlab is a small space that should undoubtedly be shared with the big city. Be sure to take a look at their upcoming shows and classes, and please consider supporting this small but mighty theater during your next night out.

Photo Credit: Gaia Squarci

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From This Author - Kristen Morale

Kristen was born and raised in Brooklyn, and is a graduate of both Saint Francis College and Hunter College, with degrees in English and Musical Theatre. She enjoys going to any show, from com... (read more about this author)


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