Effortlessly, Amy Heidt turns a solo character
showcase into something more.
Heidt’s solo show at the UCB Theatre, “Booze Cruise,” seen August 16,
begins with what may seem like cliches at first, but gets deeper, better
and funnier as it progresses.
Heidt presents several female characters all from the point of the view
of the junior office worker who had to organize the booze cruise for her
company. There’s the single 40s-ish mid-level boss who is hard up for
friends, the young baby-talking actress, the cynical foreigner (Heidt’s
accent on this one is a bit indeterminate -- it could be German, Russian
or even Scandinavian), and best of all, a new-agey southern lady who
also runs Tupperware-style sex toy parties.
After Heidt presents each character the first time, for a few minutes or
so, and gets into a second and third piece with each character, in what
amounts to a half-hour show, a story starts to come together and the
characters interact more, at least by talking about each other. With the
re-appearances of these characters and the developing story, Heidt takes
each of them and the overall story itself beyond what one would expect.
Heidt shows all of the characters from the point of view of the
organizer, evident because most of them are talking as though they’re
addressing the organizer. The boss becomes more and more desperate to
have the organizer (seemingly a twenty-something junior temp) join her
for a brunch or to socialize sometime. Both the cynical foreigner and
the boss disparage the ingénue actress, which eventually gets back to
her, so the audience gets her reaction to that as well.
As a result, Heidt’s characters aren’t just a “look at me” showcase for
what kinds of personalities she can play, but have a purpose in a
comedic story. But it’s her new-age character, who at one point promises
the single women she’s speaking to that she will “meditate on your
plight,” who could easily be a whole show of her own. All Heidt would
have to do is write it. Judging by what she put together with “Booze
Cruise,” that ought to be no problem for her.