By Joan Alperin Schwartz
I have seen many one-person shows...Personally, I think they are very hard to pull off. One person has to hold an audience's attention for around, 90 minutes and that's not an easy task.
The best one person show I have ever seen is entitled 'The Syringa Tree'...The wonderful actress Pam Gien plays over 21 parts and she is amazing. This incredible, powerful show played not only in New York City, but around the world for many years.
So is that my criteria for all one person shows? Yes and no....For the most part, when I see a play, no matter how many characters are in it, I just want to be entertained and emotionally touched on some level, by the story..
Having said that, I was entertained watching 'In My Corner' but unfortunately, only to a point.
This one man show starring the talented, Joe Orrach is the story of his relationship with his Puerto Rican father, who wants his son to become a boxer. Joe goes along with his father's dream for a time, but eventually decides, it's not for him. Joe wants to dance...and dance he does. He also boxes for almost the entire show and eventually, this becomes tiresome.
Luckily, Joe has help, thanks to the rhythms of an onstage jazz trio, led by musical director/pianist, Matthew Clark.
.The trouble I had with this show, is that, the play never rises to a satisfying emotional conclusion.
Joe spends 90 minutes talking about his dad, but in the end, I never see their conflict resolved.
Personally, I would have loved to see a scene, where his father finally gets to see Joe dance professionally, and to experience his reaction. His father's character just disappears and this was a big problem for me.
Having said that however, 'In My Corner' directed by Jeremiah Chechik and written by Orrach along with Lizbeth Hasse, still has a lot going for it and I think for the most part audiences, will be entertained.
'In My Corner' plays at the Odyssey Theatre, Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 pm and Sundays at 2 p.m. thru November 3rd, 2013.
Tickets are $30.
Call: 310-477-2055, ext 2 for reservations or go to www.odysseytheatre.com.
The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles..