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Performance Fri Nov 16 2012
Actress and storyteller Jen Bosworth (the woman who was responsible for the live lit series Stories at the Store, among other things), has taken storytelling one step further with her one-woman show, Why Not Me: Love, Cancer and Jack White. Bosworth has a personality big enough to fill a theater, and does so handily at Stage 773, where she takes the audience through the last six years of her life beginning with her exodus from L.A., through her parents' illnesses and deaths, and who she is now for having lived through the experience.
Sharing the stage with Bosworth is musician Brair Rabbit, who underscores key moments with his skilled guitar playing and singing, and provides a satisfying musical texture to the piece.
Bosworth is disarming in her forthrightness, and lets the audience know from the very beginning what they're in for. "My story is the story of how I ended up standing right here in front of you," she begins, "and it involves a lot of death, but we're going to be alright."
From there she takes us to L.A., where she worked as an assistant to Nicolas Cage (and manages to do a hilarious impersonation of him.) "He's weird, he's nice, and he's a movie star," she says, explaining the actor's famously eccentric personality. She comes back home to Evanston to care for her ailing father, and subsequently her ailing mother. As a coping mechanism to deal with the stress of caring for sick parents, she begins having nightly visits from the musician Jack White, of the White Stripes, albeit in dream form. "I loved his pasty white skin, and that stringy hair," she says, explaining her obsession.
Bosworth's storytelling is funny, captivating, and heartbreaking. "If I can tell my story, so can you," she says near the end of the piece, reminding the audience that they all have stories, and that everyday life can be remarkable, even in its ordinariness.
Why Not Me: Love, Cancer and Jack White runs at Stage 773 Theater, 1225 W. Belmont, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm through December 8. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online or in person at the Stage 773 box office. Running time: approximately 60 minutes. Directed by Alyson Lyon.