Saturday, August 08, 2009
The wordplay in the title of Kelly Samara's engaging one-act isn't just a wee trick; it's an example of the play's wisely crafted language. "Amusement," she philosophizes, is just a cleaned-up word for "distraction." Common words take on entirely different casts when contemplated by a terminal patient confined to a hospital. Ms. Samara trusts the audience to follow her, through words and movement, along her squirming evolution from impatience to eternal Patient. This trust makes the play (which features music and dance as well) an intensely satisfying experience (or "amusement"). So much so that the one time she doesn't trust us – when she concludes a monologue about iguanas and the difference between camouflage and invisibility by stating the obvious – is the one moment she disappoints a little. As part of Manhattan Repertory Theatre's Summerfest 2009, Being Patient ran for three performances only. A powerful and well-tuned fusion of the many talents of a very crafty artist, it deserves further development and a longer run. In any case Kelly Samara has earned some significant attention.