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George Street Playhouse’s “Curvy” Swan Song
by Sherri Rase      |   follow us...

   
photo by T. Charles Erickson
Nancy Opel
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Bobby Goldman and Drew Brody have mined comic platinum in their new musical “Curvy Widow.” Goldman’s book and Brody’s music and lyrics turn a tragedy into genius commentary on life in that way that diamonds come from the worst events of our lives.
Goldman lost her beloved husband very suddenly, when she was still in the late prime of life. Her s’hero’s quest toward building a future, in a different way than she’d imagined, is what gives this show such vibrancy and life. Nancy Opel’s “Bobby” is deliciously self-aware, and she’s also a tiger-mom to herself, as she sloughs off widow’s weeds and emerges victoriously as the phoenix that we are all meant to be.
Bobby’s family of friends includes her husband Jim (Ken Land), Caroline (Andrea Bianchi), Heidi (Elizabeth Ward Land), Joan (Aisha de Haas), The Shrink (Alan Muraoka), and Per Se (Christopher Shyer), who all play so many parts that this show is truly a romp. The vignettes of the chrysalis of a life becoming something beautiful are like having a cocktail date with a long-lost friend. The catching up is part of the fun, but we all end up changed in the process–and that’s the beauty of the show.
Opel’s Bobby gives voice to women’s experience–after a “certain age,” we become invisible and asexual to the world, when in fact there is just as much life in us after 45 as there was before. Now we have the knowledge of what we truly want and that frankness in women still surprises some. The women in the audience resonated like a stringed instrument with so much of the proceedings and, from the changes in breathing around me, the men got a new perspective as well.
Peter Flynn’s direction is sure and true, bringing out the beauty and pain in the play. Rob Bissinger’s set is malleable chameleon perfection and choreography by Marcos Santana is pure delight. Leading the three-piece orchestra and providing musical direction, Andrew David Sotomayor provides the soundtrack that, for most of us, makes everything a song cue. The music is organic to the process and makes the moods happier and more poignant. Joining Sotomayor’s piano is Nioka Workman on cello—with its oh-so-human timbre—and Arei Sekiguchi on drums and percussion.
On May 21, time runs out for “Curvy Widow,” so see it while you can. This is the last production in *this particular* George Street Playhouse, so you’ll be part of history, as well as her-story. Visit www.GeorgeStreetPlayhouse.org today to see what’s in store as another phoenix rises in the next few years and get your tickets now!

 

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