Letting It All Hang Out
Cheryl King mines an amused perspective on her days as "not a nice
catharsis can come from good comedy, Cheryl King proves that the reverse
also works, eliciting laughs from cathartic autobiographical material in
“not a nice girl,” her show that runs twice more in February, as one of
the premiere productions of Stage Left Studio.
crux of the story of Carol Ann Kincaid, the doppelganger protagonist,
who suffers incestuous abuse as a child and a loveless marriage much
later in life, is that she feels beholden to the desire to please other
people, but journeys over the course of the show until she becomes, as
she puts it, “no man’s territory” and finds the power she has within.
journey has a lot to do with sex of course, but King’s show doesn’t go
astray in the sexual content. That has to be there to depict where the
fear or shame comes from and what she has to overcome.
has the acting skill to distinctly portray other characters in this
story with only a change of voice and expression. In her writing, she
hits some resonant moments over the course of the story, like when she
recalls the ex-husband wanting “to have and to hold” her rather than
being her “playmate.”
of the funniest moments in the show come from King’s particular critique
of religion in her own upbringing, portraying God as comically
frustrated with her naiveté around age 20 when she got pregnant.
the show’s end the drama and the comedy have come together well, showing
Carol Ann surviving the difficult events in her story in no small part
because of her ability to be bemused at these circumstances.
“not a nice girl”
has two more performances at Stage Left Studio, 438 West 37th
St., on Sunday, February 12 and Saturday, February 18.