Monday, April 25, 2011

"Lisick, Ali and Jackson": UNRATED

Three solo performers were on the bill for April's "Solo Sundays" at Stagewerx Theatre. Author and story teller Beth Lisick opened with a very funny (and brand new) piece on shooting a bank commercial -- she is forced to try and deal with inane suggestions from the producers ("who wants to see a forty year old woman freestyle a rap about a bank?"). Her second offering, which was basically a riff on embarrassing moments she has endured in her life, was more of an ad-lib jazz solo, with humor but not a lot of focus.

The second performer, Jawad Ali, is a relatively new performer. His "NATO Love Parade" is told with a sense of incredulity. It is his account of an e-mail mixup between him and NATO, who confused this Pakastani native for a Pakistani official with the same name. It's a little hard to follow -- he will want to make some of the connections clearer.

They saved the most memorable for last. Julia Jackson's "I Didn't Sign Up For This" is a heartfelt account of a same-sex couple attempting to adopt a baby. Jackson plays a lot of characters, including her hysterical sports-loving self and her ooh-wah partner feuding in Target ("hey, we're just your average mixed race lesbian couple having a fight."), the adoption agency sales agents, the birth mom (a very touching depiction), the birth mom's own mother, the birth mom's boy friend...and she was just picking up steam when the show ended. After the set, Jackson said she has two more scenes to write before the full show will debut in November. Julia Jackson lets it all hang out on stage. If you haven't heard of her yet, you will.

The San Francisco Theater Blog Ratings Division has chosen not to give a rating to these three performers because their shows are still unfinished. There is a lot of talent there, though, and we will be very excited to see how the shows develop.

"Beth Lisick, Jawad Ali and Julia Jackson"
Stagewerx Theater
533 Sutter Street (cabaret downstairs), San Francisco
No further shows scheduled for the moment

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