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Oblivious to Everyone

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Okay, let's come clean and admit it.In some form or another, we're all guilty of falling prey to Hollywood celebrity gossip, the fascination of reality shows and the numerous other oddities the media throws out in front of us each day to some degree.We've all had those vulnerable moments when it's just so much easier to turn on E! News rather than our local network stations to get a grasp on what's going on in the world.Besides, if we don't know who's hooking up with who, who's wearing what, who's under a hundred pounds this week or what happened on the latest installment of Flavor of Love, don't we all feel a little inadequate during those water cooler conversations?Well, maybe it's not that bad, but Oblivious to Everyone, a "one woman schizophrenic comedy" written and preformed by Jessica Lynn Johnson, gives us a glimpse of how life could be if media were our sole influencer.

Picked up for a limited engagement at Theatre Row after a successful and well receivedrun at this summer's NY International Fringe Festival, Oblivious to Everyone offers good laughs by exploring the media's portrayal of and influence on the style and psyche of the modern woman.Audiences are privy to main character Carrie's initial appointment with a shrink to discuss the current state of her life.Dressed in the latest fashions trends from Juicy to Bebe, Carrie's initial hesitancy to talk about why she lives in such a media absorbed world, quickly fades away into a non-stop dialogue revealing much about her character. She discusses various opinions which illustrate how the media has affected her on several different levels.The lack of any interjection by the doctor forces Carrie to continue on a rant-like pace, bringing up various "media-centric" incidences that have influenced her on an over-exaggerated level. From porn stars on Howard Stern to extreme conservatives on Jerry Springer to sex-crazed frat boys on Elimidate – Carrie has experienced it all.

                                                       

Johnson drops some real good one-liners throughout Carrie's dialogues which demonstrate the persuasive influences she's discussing.After admitting to the doctor that she's had some "augmentations" made to her upper body, Carrie defends her decision by saying, "there's a specific way women are supposed to look – although I'm a little confused about what's in right now – but that's the beautiful thing about plastic surgery!"It's an easy connection to see how the perfectly crafted bodies of the adult film stars she sees and hears on the Howard Stern show offers these women the attention they crave, no matter what the cost.That over-publicized thought trickles down into the mentality of the "average" woman like Carrie – and it doesn't stop there.Carrie's entire mindset is inflicted with negative thoughts about African Americans, Hispanics, homosexuals, southern "rednecks" and the roles of men and women all from what she sees and hears from the media.

 The highlight of the show is seeing Johnson jump out of the Carrie character into someone else she once saw on television that helped mold the opinion she currently holds.The character transition is done in mid-dialogue in a herky-jerky manner, mimicking the way a TV remote control flips between stations.Johnson includes an array of characters for the audience to enjoy, which emulate how Carrie is affected by the daily variety of nonsense the media has to offer her. As the audience listens to what these different individuals have to say, they can almost understand why Carrie turned out the way she did.Carrie inadvertently grew up naïve, with television being the closest thing she could get to a role model – and the audience witnesses the final result of that upbringing.The audience sees a beautiful woman obsessed with how she looks who's influenced by today's media moguls.When it comes to morals and standards, her opinions and logic were formed from Hollywood and talk shows rather than more "objective" sources that allowed her to formulate her own thoughts. Carrie knows it's a problem, but doesn't know how to live any differently.Oblivious to Everyone may not be about conquering alcoholism or drug abuse, but it's about overcoming an addiction nonetheless. It's a coming of age story in an age where media is king.

 

Oblivious to Everyone offers a heavy dose of humor to provide audiences with an answer to an unrealistic, but not unbelievable "what if" scenario.If people were left to their own vices, it would be easy to not pay attention to the real things going on in the world around them and even within themselves.Luckily, as whole, most of us don't allow ourselves to do this; but audiences can experience this hypothetical through Carrie and have a lot of laughs along the way. Oblivious to Everyone is running on select dates now through November 18th at 7pm at the Studio Theatre in the Theatre Row complex on 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.For tickets and more information, please call 212-279-4200.

 

Photo Credits (Left to Right): Steve Barrett and Robbie Renfrow


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