New Original Works Festival Comes to an End: A Review of the Final Performances
The sixth annual three week New Original Works Festival ran its course this past weekend downtown at REDCAT. True to its mission, the series showcased new and emerging artists working in new genres as well as mid-career creators further exploring their art or collaborating with other experimenters in other media. Each of the three separate programs was a shared event and this final triptych went down as promised.
To begin the evening, comic performer, writer and alumna of cable TV’s The Daily Show, Lauren Weedman presented Off. This monologue of characters both easily identifiable and comically inspired included references to motherhood (Weedman’s own upcoming), street living and tattoos, among other topics. Though sometimes it took me a few moments to register the change in context with each new character, every different voice was clear and distinct and performed with an appropriate aplomb. Directed by Jeff Weatherford, each vignette was divided by a short movement byte (choreography by Jennifer Winters) set to an assortment of sound snippets (from Dean Martin to KODO taiko drumming). One of my highlights was Weedman tossing an ever-present metal chair from one location on the stage to another—an effective marker for character changes and, though dramatic, much less clunky and crashing than would be expected. The energetic performer has brought her previous shows to REDCAT before and each has been funny, insightful and spot on. Off is no different.