You have to appreciate the memory of Angela Daddabbo. When a production sticks with her, she finds a way to make it stick with audiences at home. First it was Louis Fantasia's “The Double Bass” and the annual “A Child's Christmas in Wales,” and now it's Lynne Adams' poignant and comic “Two Faced,” a brilliant performance of a stunning script by the veteran actress.
Adams' one-woman play about an aging professional woman who must reenter the work force while learning to swim in a new dating pool is shot through with brittle candor and remarkable humor. Her ability to self-deprecate is as rich as her healthy egotism, and she can manage a rationalization with the best of 'em. The play is nearly all monologue, and it emanates from a single character and never, not for a single moment, does the material become trite or repetitious. It is a singularly agile, perceptive and formidable piece of theater writing.
Her abilities as an actor are just as impressive, and, no, “Well, she wrote it for herself” does not explain the performance. Anyone can learn technique, and a reasonable amount of training can teach you to impart it from behind a proscenium arch with fair results. But to act, you need immediacy and a profound commitment, not simply to what is true, but to communicating that truth to an audience. Lynne Adams can act. No line is thrown away, no movement is wasted, nothing is imposed and everything is pared to its essential truth, and every step of the way it is enormously entertaining. Performances like Adams, in this piece, become a gift to the audience and, no matter the level of sophistication in that audience, those performances are understood to be specific to them. The single greatest reason that theater can not be killed is that performers like Adams, and plays like “Two Faced,” can make an audience understand that what happens each night is unique.
Local lighting legend Bob Frame provides an extremely effective design for the show, and, while no credit is given in the program, the set and sound designs are well conceived and executed.
There is nothing objectionable for teens.
If you go
What: “Two Faced”
When: 3 p.m. Sunday, April 13
Where: Auburn Public Theater, 108 Genesee St., Auburn
Cost: $15 general, $12 students and seniors, $10 each with groups of 10 or more
Info: Call 253-6669 or visit www.auburnpublictheater.com