A review by Bill Garry.
If you're a middle-aged, liberal, suburban mom, or you have one, you'll love Annabelle Gurwitch's one-woman comedy about the anxiety of turning 50. Bonus laughs if you know who Anna Quindlen is.
Ms. Gurwitch tackles hormones (both her's and her teenage son's), music, social media, fashion, and more in a breezy 80 minutes.
The best parts of the show make use of the big rear-projection screen set up behind Ms. Gurwitch on the bare stage. There are bits of texting tete-a-tete between Ms. Gurwitch and her (unseen) husband. When she engages in the battle of the sexes, the audience roars. There is also a hilarious "how-to" video that takes on AARP and fashion for the over-50 crowd. Kudos to lighting and production designer Jason H. Thompson and director Bart DeLorenzo.
You may recognize Ms. Gurwitch from her stint as co-host of TBS's "Dinner and a Movie" and many bit parts on TV. Here, however, she is more writer than actor. "Effort" is based on her book of essays by the same name; the show, at times, feels like a women's magazine humor column being recited.
Except for the aforementioned texting, I (a man) felt left out much of the time. My companion, a woman over 50, related better, although she said that she did get tired of the litany of complaints that (to be honest) is a hallmark of this "can we talk?" genre.
But if you fall in Ms. Gurwitch's demographic, you will applaud until your "gnarly hands" are raw. Just remember to dig that AARP membership pitch out of the trash and wear your scarf.
Playing Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays thru June 15 at the
Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Box Office reservations: 213-761-7061 and http://skylighttix.com