Northwest NEWS

December 18, 2000

Entertainment

'In Real Life' is a multi-layered tale told by a master storyteller

by Deborah Stone
   Playwright and performer Charlayne Woodard ("Pretty Fire," "Neat") returns to the Seattle Rep with her new one woman, world premiere show, "In Real Life," directed by Daniel Sullivan.
   In her previous shows, which drew rave reviews, Woodard mined stories of her family and her childhood to create engaging works for the stage.
   "In Real Life" continues in this vein with her tales of a young woman coming of age in New York City.
   Fresh out of drama school and determined to become a serious dramatic actress, Woodard heads to the Big Apple to make a name for herself.
   She is in for a shock when she discovers that the current rage is musical comedy with the likes of "A Chorus Line," "The Wiz" and "Bubbling Brown Sugar" heating up the stages on Broadway.
   She suddenly finds herself singing and dancing her way to a Tony nomination for her work in "Ain't Misbehavin'" and becomes the toast of the town.
   Along the way, she meets an assortment of interesting and eccentric people and has a variety of experiences that span from the extreme high to the extreme low. Life moves too fast for her and one day she realizes that she has somehow lost sight of her original dreams.
   Finding her way back to who she really is takes her on a journey of self-discovery and allows her to refocus her energies on what is truly important to her.
   Woodard is a master storyteller and conveys her relationships with others and the experiences she has with humor, pathos and sensitivity. She puts the audience right at her side as she travels the wild streets of New York, reliving the roller coaster ride of her young adulthood.
   The characters she encounters become real with all their unique nuances and personalities, which Woodard so effortlessly conveys.
   "In Real Life" is a many-layered, vibrant tale that this talented performer spins with passion and raw emotion.
   The show runs through Jan. 7. For ticket information, call (206) 443-2222.