As Jewbana begins, a grinning woman emerges from a large foam egg. The egg, the music and the disco lights give a strong feeling that this will be a cliché of “performance art,” i.e., conceptual, difficult to understand, and perhaps silly. There are indeed elements of performance art in this one-woman show by Susie K Taylor, a self-proclaimed Miami Vaudevillian. But the show goes far beyond. Taylor portrays seven characters, friends and family who contributed to the script by writing what they think of Taylor.
Taylor’s rollerblading beach babe sister and critical Cuban mother-in-law are fully and hilariously rendered. She inhabits the male characters well, but her body language and voice inflections seem less genuine. The script is hilarious, and Taylor’s comedic timing is wonderful.
Taylor transforms into each character during a musical break and costume change that makes further use of the egg metaphor. She could easily pare down the wardrobes that accompany the characters, though, and use one iconic element for each: rollerblades for sister Heather, sunglasses for mother-in-law, basketball shorts for one of the sons, a necktie for husband. The characterizations are strong enough without the rest. And the egg metaphor, which Taylor lovingly plays out by turning over and appreciating a fabric-fried egg as she leaves each persona, is something she could do without as well. The audience sees how these people have contributed to the woman she is and how much she cherishes them.
Written by Susie K. Taylor and Nedra Gallegos
Performed by Susie K. Taylor
Directed by Susie K. Taylor
October 4 and November 17, 2022
The 13th United Solo Festival
October 4- November 20, 2022
410 West 42nd (btw 9th and 10th Avenue)
STEPHANIE EAGAN is a professional writer based in NJ. A fan of every type of live performance imaginable, from taiko drumming to political performance art, she travels the tri-state area and beyond in search of music, art, theater, and excellent coffee.