Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
We have all had to make daring decisions in life. Whether it is taking a chance on a new relationship or electing to move to a brand new city, it is never easy. For Leslie Ayvazian, it is choosing whether or not to jump from a high dive during her vacation in Greece. At the opening of the show, Leslie is three weeks away from her 50th birthday and she has taken many leaps during her lifetime. However, she is undecided about this one. For Leslie, every leap has come with some rather unusual consequences.
These odd experiences are related with wit and enthusiasm by Leslie Ayvazian herself in her one-woman show, High Dive, now playing at MetroStage. She has created a show that is filled with anecdotes about some of the more chaotic events in her life.
It seems that Leslie is jinxed when it comes to vacations. She has experienced everything from haphazardly driving a boat ashore to experiencing an earthquake while vacationing in Mexico with her husband. However, she finds humor in every accident and natural disaster.
Dressed in black and looking far less than her 50+ years, Ayvazian performs the piece on a stark stage. However, she is not the only performer. Before the show, she has selected audience members to play numerous parts in the play. The audience members do not take the stage. Instead, they sit in their seats and read their highlighted lines. The parts range from the role of Leslie's adventurous husband to movie star Peter Lawford.
Ayvazian's script is fresh and funny and she performs it with the casualness of anyone telling you about their family vacation. She has an easy manner, and that works well during her interaction with the audience. The use of the audience in the show is a clever device. Not only does it bring a special energy to the piece, but it also forces the audience to really listen.
Although the show only runs a little more than an hour, there is a lot packed into it: observations about life, family, and aging, which are all conveyed with great eloquence.
In the end, the piece is about the journey that brings us to the moment in time when one has to decide whether or not to take that risky leap. However, the question remains. Will Leslie jump off that high dive? Does she really need to? You will have to see the play to find out. High Dive runs at MetroStage through February 9th.