Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
I Am My Own Wife
Also see Susan's review of Moby Dick Rehearsed
Washington theater-goers are truly lucky this season because a gem of a show is playing in our own backyard. The highly celebrated I Am My Own Wife is currently making its home in DC's National Theatre. The luck doesn't end there. The one-man show stars Jefferson Mays, who won the Tony Award for performing in the piece on Broadway.
I Am My Own Wife tells an amazing story. Written by Doug Wright, the play is based on the personal accounts of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a German transvestite who was able to survive both the Nazi and Communist regimes. Mr. Wright weaves these stories into a tale filled with humor and spirit. This play is so skillfully crafted that it is no wonder he was honored with the Tony and the Pulitzer for this piece.
Set in the early 1990s, I Am My Own Wife is constructed in such a way that audience members are transported through time. One moment may take place in 1993 and the next in the 1940s. However, it is a well thought out piece that is always clear in its destination.
Directed by Moisés Kaufman, the show is marvelously balanced and makes good use of the splendid set by Derek McLane. The lighting by David Lander enhances the storytelling and the sound by Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman is outstanding.
The play is performed single-handedly by Jefferson Mays who transforms himself effortlessly into many different characters, including Doug Wright himself. Other characters include Charlotte's father, Communist interrogators and a rather cheesy talk show host. However, the focus is always on Charlotte, and his depiction is simply amazing.
I Am My Own Wife supplies a rare chance to see a high caliber Broadway production featuring its equally fine original performer right here in the neighborhood. Anyone who loves the art of theater should be sure to see this play. I Am My Own Wife runs through April 10th.
The National Theatre