Wednesday, September 12, 2007

FRINGE: Jamaica, Farewell

Jamaica, Farewell is a first: the theatrically presented Hollywood autobiography. True or not, Debra Ehrhardt's escape from Jamaica is so over-the-top that it overwhelms the nuances she shows herself capable of, early on in the play. At times, the thrill of watching someone so pleasantly excitable overtakes the lack of a connection that she makes with the audience or her secondary characters. As for her writing, it's either a testament or detriment that she makes us laugh in the midst of an attempted rape; so much of her ordeal is comically portrayed that Jamaica, Farewell is more a lengthy dinner-party story than a staged work. (She paces, but hardly needs the stage or the lights.) So then, like a Hollywood movie, Jamaica, Farewell is entertaining, but only up to a point.

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