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Women over the edge! — two plays in rep at NoHo Actors Studio

Women over the edge! — two plays in rep at NoHo Actors Studio

Judith E. is cracking upJ.E.T. Productions-West is proud to present WOMEN OVER THE EDGE!

These are two plays in rep that takes us from “˜whoa!”™ to “˜wow!”™ to “˜whoops!”™ as we examine the lives of two women on the verge of personal crisis.

Judith E. stars (and wrote) her one-woman show The Menopause “Crack-up” – a funny take on the trials and tribulations of the onset of menopause. Along the way, we get to know about her life, loves and hopes for the future. This is the world premiere of Judith E.”™s solo dramedy, and it is directed by Kaz Matamura.

The show opens with a dramatic flourish; our heroine, Giaa, appears to be attacked by an unseen assailant. Turns out she has been assaulted by the personification of “menopause.” Giaa tells us how it snuck up on her and how “this whole thing totally changed me.”

This period of physical change leads to some self-loathing and histrionic scenes as the distraught Latina laments the unpleasant symptoms she is suddenly experiencing. In addition to playing a version of herself, Judith E. effortlessly slips into some alternate roles, such as the Russian doctor who she consults, explaining she “always feels depressed and angry.” Another time she personifies osteoporosis as a sinister cat-stroking villain. Once in a while Judith E. dives into her box of tricks to pull out a funny prop or costume item.

There are a lot of aural gags from the inventive sound design of music snippets. Hence, we hear those famous shrieking strings from the score of Psycho or we hear the sexy theme from the Pink Panther at appropriate moments.

When Giaa relates her strict upbringing, she takes on the persona of her strict grandmother or “abuela.” While I could follow most of these dialogue exchanges, Judith E.”™s choice to do all of the grandmother”™s dialogue in Spanish risks leaving some of her audience out, judging by the shaking heads I observed in the audience.

By the conclusion of this brisk, 75-minute one-act show, Judith E. has examined her options, touching on her exploration of preventative and holistic medicine versus western medicine, which just treats the unpleasant symptoms with anti-depressants. Judith E. concludes with the statement, “I think it”™s time that we, as women, were given the information we need to be informed.”Â  I just wish I had learned a bit more concrete info from Judith E.”™s experience and one-woman show.

Sad, yet funny, The Menopause “Crack-up” is an Adults Only show, as it contains partial nudity and explicit sexual language.

The Menopause “Crack-up” is currently showing in repertory, along with the play, Mrs Cage, written by Nancy Barr, directed by the legendary Barbara Bain and starring Katelyn Ann Clark and David Ross Paterson.

The Menopause “Crack-up” plays through December 18th, on Fridays at 8pm.

Mrs Cage plays through December 20th, on Saturdays, 8pm and Sundays, 2pm

The NoHo Actors”™ Studio
5215 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, 91601

Please allow ample time for public lot and street parking

General Admission: $13 Seniors/Students with ID: $11
Reservations and information:
(818) 761-2166 or go to their official site

Review by Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.

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