So I decided to go to the theatre the other night, and since the Mainline is just a few blocks from my house I chose one of the plays forming part of Harvest #7, the LGBTQ celebration of the performing arts.
Billed as the semi-true story of a girl and her shoes, “Honestly, OK”, presents the journey of Nicole as she discovers her sexuality and her passion for theatre. The play develops through the course of many years and multiple locations throughout Southern California, and it’s staging provided interesting forms in which these gaps are bridged.
In the same vein, the story relies on a plethora of characters to pack its punch. The fact that the cast consists of only four actors is testament to the resourcefulness of the team. Kevin Black, the cast’s only male plays some 20+ characters, all of them memorable for their inability to deal with women. Aside from minor changes in his attire, he uses a variety of accents to differentiate them from each other. The fleeting nature of Kevin’s characters seems to represent the lack of constancy of men and how they’re prone to disappoint someone like Nicole.
Dominique Noel plays Nicole’s love interests throughout her story. Her ability to project a ruthless sensuality represents the counterpart to Nicole’s lack of experience. Her character forces the audience to confront awkward questions like work-life balance, the intromission of the in-laws and how time can damage a once thriving relationship.
Lauren Stone, co-author of the play, plays a series of supporting female characters. Your correspondent, however, found her rendition of Dominique, the Filipino mother his favorite. Her ability to switch between accents and voices provides great comic relief.
The star of the play, Mary Picard, is a commanding presence throughout it. She is the only one playing one character, and uses the opportunity to explore her many sides with great skill. Nicole is equally convincing while rehearsing a stripper routine or confronting her conservative parents.
As a final note, this play is a coming-of-age story in which art offers the best opportunity to find oneself. Definitely a must-see.
Honestly, OK is at the Mainline Theatre (3997 St. Laurent) on October 7 at 8 p.m., October 8 at 9:45 p.m., October 11 at 7 p.m., October 12 at 4:30 p.m. $16/12. It is part of the Harvest Festival, which takes place October 7-12..
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