Depending on the edition of the OED that you have collecting dust on a walnut bookstand in your paneled library, if you crack it open to "Adorable", you may see Mary Tyler Moore as Happy Hotpoint or Rory Flynn from Rogue Machine and sandwiched right there between them the wonderfulness of Ms Rachel I. Parker.
I did not make note of her actual middle name, but recall that her parents may have wanted to call her Rip? She, like Helen Hayes, is taller on the stage than she is on the ground floor but can strut the catwalk like a six foot lynx and has dance moves that rival Margot Fonteyn on a good day.
Photo by Joshua Stern
Parker, in this well timed audition piece for every medium, has employed the voice talents of friends to depict her mom and dad and others. It's a showcase.
Director Alina Phelon has been conservative in Ms Parker's guidance. There are opportunities beyond the actress's ongoing character embodiments through her growing up years that might have employed slicker costume and attitude changes. I envisioned a koken assistant who would physically bring more color and variety to the talky business of her exposition supplying more energy that is lacking in this current version. Why Parker has opted for her closely cropped hair style may be for a part she's playing elsewhere or just the convenience of what short hair can do for anyone in these dark days.
Vanity performances that work are sometimes vital for the advancement of an acting career. Christmas carols are not a long suit for Ms Parker, but the opening night audience (who insisted on a second curatain call) was up for the singing.
Photo by Joshua Stern
My personal experience with the success of monologues, turns back years to the reason a great monologist, Paul Linke, who had been story telling for a very long time, put up his cathartic "Time Flies When You're Alive" with an eye to find a TV series. It worked! (There was also an HBO boost!)
Ms Parker, if she finds a way to pump up the volume, add color and lose the off stage voices, digging more deeply into her heart felt discussions with those phantoms (her mother was a friggin' haradan!) with faster pacing and intensity, becoming even more intimate: it might bring her more work and certainly a broader audience. There is someone at home. Turn more lights on!
She really is adorable.
The Wolfe and the Bird
The Matrix Theatre
7657 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Saturdays and Sundays
Through October 10, 2021
Six more shows
Parking is interesting .. plan ahead.