The story uses an interesting dynamic which follows the pattern of memory, not really the pattern of events. Since road to success was so memorable, the play focuses primarily on the journey - the fights to audition, the failures, and the endless closed doors which probably figured very prominently in the playwright’s life. This journey is shown so well and so detailed, that once Adrianna achieves her goals you expect the show to wrap up. Instead, her successful years are very lightly touched on, 25 – 25 years fly by in a flash. And then the career wrap up takes center stage.
|Brian Dykstra, Susan Ferrara and Lori Prince|
First prize brings some fun and touching moments to the stage and is very enjoyable. But the play does suffer from an autobiographical viewpoint, reducing the believability and making it difficult to relate to the character. In particular, Adrianna probably wasn’t “farm fresh and wholesome” all the time. Her lover didn’t awaken overnight to resent her distance. Her teacher never says a word of correction, only praise, confidence building and sage old advice.
The play ends with Adrianna reflecting on her life, her love of music and the fact she wouldn’t have changed a thing, even though she seems bitter. Eh… I would have changed a couple things.
The fight to make it in the business, the trails, the honesty – that was beautifully done, and is rightfully the focus of the show. It should have stopped there. There was a truly wonderful moment where Adrianna Woodlawn was all alone in a hotel bar after a show. She and the bartender flirt, despite the fact she has a lover waiting at home. It summed up what Adrianna’s life would (and did) turn into. The moment summed up, in those few sentences and their interaction, where Adrianna was going to end up. We didn’t need it spelled out over the next 15 minutes.
First Prize is a very good show, with a little cutting; it would be an excellent show.
First Prize (Website and Tickets)
Playwright: Israela Margalit
Director: Margarett Perry
Cast: Brian Dykstra, Susan Ferrara, Christopher Hirsh, Lori Prince