In a pandemic that pressured many to shelter in place alone, two one-woman streaming productions from L.A.’s IAMA Theatre really feel greater than becoming. For stars Anna LaMadrid and Sheila Carrasco, the COVID-19 pandemic has proved a time for reflection — and every makes use of her present to discover identification and personhood from a Latina perspective.
“The Oxy Complicated,” written and carried out by LaMadrid and straight by Michelle Bossy, takes place on the five hundredth day of shutdowns. It opens with the character Viviana tossing and handing over mattress; her ideas, informed by means of voice-over, reveal how lonely she is and that she broke up along with her long-term boyfriend simply earlier than the pandemic.
LaMadrid takes on totally different characters in Viviana’s life, from her shut good friend Saavi to the “love scientist” Dr. Oye Me, who exists inside Viviana’s head to course of her emotions. There are flashbacks to Viviana’s life earlier than COVID-19, interspersed with present-day moments, throughout which she will get again into relationship apps.
Viviana’s loneliness is piercingly relatable. However pandemic apart, the compelling present has so much to say about navigating relationships, romantic or familial. LaMadrid has a agency grasp on every of the characters. Whereas Viviana is on the core of the narrative, LaMadrid particularly shines by means of the supporting characters, every illustrated in daring and commanding model.
The present falters solely in construction. The interweaving of flashbacks and characters generally is a energy, however the stream of scenes typically feels disjointed. LaMadrid covers numerous floor in theme and matter, however the sequence typically lacks fluidity.
Carrasco’s “Anybody However Me,” however, presents a unique type of construction — one with out an overarching narrative. Directed by Margaux Susi, Carrasco performs totally different ladies, every coping with her identification, in a string of brief vignettes. Characters embody a grocery retailer clerk who has a secret affinity for artwork and a Latina who performs up her small share of Native American ancestry.
Carrasco takes on the roles with talent and precision. Her physicality — the best way she makes use of physique language and facial expressions to tell apart every character vividly — is so pure as to be invisible. Carrasco may even persuasively embody a teen, as she does within the final vignette of the present. The teenager is determining simply how abusive the habits of her boyfriend is, and she or he expresses a need to be somebody she isn’t — somebody who stands up for herself. These sorts of wishes can start so younger and — as we see by means of characters of all ages — by no means go away.
Each exhibits have stellar path. Bossy specifically, free from the constraints of a stage, makes the a lot of the freedoms of a digital present. LaMadrid and Carrasco are such sturdy performers, we’re left to think about how they may have shined much more brightly in entrance of a stay viewers. Till that day comes, “The Oxy Complicated” and “Anybody However Me” present us with some a lot wanted firm.
‘Anybody However Me’ and ‘The Oxy Complicated’
The place: Streaming on demand by means of IAMA Theatre
When: By means of April 18
Tickets: Single present is $15 per individual or $25 for a number of individuals on one system; each exhibits bought collectively are $25
Operating time: Every present runs about 1 hour, 5 minutes
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