Thursday, July 26, 2012

KC Fringe "Lessons from Marlene" review by Detailer

Lessons in characterization
Rating: 3

Lessons from Marlene 
KC Fringe Festival

Katie Kalahurka uses Lessons from Marlene as a vehicle for her considerable talent. The conceit is that she is Marlene Dietrich as an angel who is introducing several characters to illustrate life lessons.

Her lessons themselves are neither original nor profound, but her artistry in bringing them to us is well worth the time to see.

Katie uses several different accents and sings in each character’s voice. While her comic timing is delightful, she shows dramatic flare as well with the poignant Irish girl.

Her physicality and facial expressions are endlessly fascinating. She is very good at communicating with the entire audience.

I especially like the way she uses the mirrors in the space.

Katie’s choice of words and her delivery of them make the rather obvious lessons seem fresh and personal. She speaks conversationally, with the words naturally flowing from honesty within, rather than as lines to a script.

Katie fills a larger-than-life personality without overwhelming the room, which is quite a feat in the small space.

I admire the ease and speed with which Katie changes characters. She uses costume pieces to suggest different characters, and flows quickly and smoothly from one to the next.

I don’t find myself thinking about the content of her lessons, but I do reflect on her skills in characterization and charisma.

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