One stage, one woman, ninety full minutes – one hell of a journey! Jamaica, Farewell is playing at the Falcon Theatre in Toluca Lake until Sunday April 17, 2011.
Review by Tracy Lynn Schafer
If I told you Jamaica was right around the corner, and you”™d have your very own tour guide, would you bite? Debra Ehrhardt single-handedly captures her audience and takes them on a tremendous journey, telling her personal tale with her self-penned play, Jamaica, Farewell.
Debra (Ehrhardt) wants nothing more than to live in America. In fact, it may be the one thing that keeps her motivated: leaving Jamaica and existing in the land of the free; “AMERICA!”
Introduced to Debra in the midst of her journey, we witness a reenactment from her childhood and other events leading up to the victorious moment many years later when she finally arrives in the land of her dreams. With no amount of ease, and smack dab in the upheaval of the Manley Era, Debra tries time and again to find her way into the States. When the honest route fails, Debra decides to raise the stakes. By taking on a number of personas Debra introduces us to her Jamaica. A Jamaica filled with her overly religious mother, her drunken, gambling father, an American man, and so much more!
I must admit I was a bit surprised by Jamaica, Farewell. Any preconceived notion about experiencing a solo show I may have formed before entering the Falcon Theatre was washed away by Ms. Ehrhardt”™s captivating performance. There is something to be said for one woman commanding the stage and holding your attention for ninety full minutes. Too few possess the skill and talent to both write and perform the tale relating any part of their life, let alone illustrate a time when political upheaval was taking over an entire country; Ehrhardt, however, does.Â Watching Ehrhardt on stage lead me to question if everything that she went through happened purely so she might later develop it for the entire world to see. Her powerful story was wonderfully executed on stage and I found myself practically spellbound at moments, listening to her tale unfold. The profundity of life was happening right before my eyes, reminding me that life and art are very much one in the same. Ehrhardt was able to make me laugh and cry all in one transporting evening. In performance this artist truly is breathtaking.
Directed by Joel Zwick, Jamaica, Farewell is the fifth production in the 2010-2011 Subscription Season to be performed at Falcon Theatre.
Currently playing at Falcon Theatre, Jamaica, Farewell closes on Sunday, April 17th, 2011.
4252 W. Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505
Runs until, Sunday April 17th, 2011
Wednesday – Saturday, 8pm
Approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission
Weekdays (Wed/Thurs) $34.50-$3700
Weekends (Fri/Sat/Sun) $39.50-$42.00
Student Rate (with valid ID) $27.00
Purchase tickets here or call (818) 955-8101
About the theatre:
The Falcon Theatre is a 130-seat performing arts space located in the Burbank, California media district near Disney Studios, NBC, Warner Bros. and Universal Studios. Built by Director/Writer/Producer Garry Marshall and his daughter Kathleen Marshall, the Falcon opened its doors in November of 1997. Mr. Marshall, who directs movies when he’s not playing softball, has a self-described “life-long addiction to theatre” and built the Falcon as a place where old friends and emerging talent can come together to create exciting work on stage. The Falcon’s acclaimed productions include Arthur Miller’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN with Jack Klugman, Lee Blessing’s COBB co-produced with Kevin Spacey & Trigger St. Prods., FAHRENHEIT 451 written by Ray Bradbury and co-produced by his Pandemonium Theatre Company, Charles Nelson Reilly’s one-man show SAVE IT FOR THE STAGE, CRIMES OF THE HEART starring Morgan Fairchild, Crystal Bernard and Faith Ford, GOLF WITH ALAN SHEPARD starring Charles Durning, Jack Klugman, Paul Dooley and Granville Van Dusen, WRONG TURN AT LUNGFISH by Garry Marshall and Lowell Ganz, starring Hector Elizondo, and AGA BOOM. to name just a few.
Children’s Theatre productions include original versions of such classics as: SNOW QUEEN, CINDERELLA!, 3 LITTLE PIGS, BEANSTALK: A TALL TALE, THE MAGIC FLUTE, and SNOW WHITE; as well as many brand new stories such as THE ROOT BEER BANDITS.
In 2002, Mr. Marshall launched a 5-Play subscription series to complement the Falcon’s highly successful Children’s Theatre programming. The Falcon also presents “The Falcon Family Summer Theatre” each summer, as well as special “Garry Marshall Presents” productions on selected Sunday evenings throughout the year. The Falcon Theatre operates year-round from September through August.