Seven women stuck in a purgatoryesque bardo are waiting to be assigned to either their own heavenor hell of their making. Each had a place in the corporal world but now they are as lost as a beachedjellyfish on a Florida beach. Roasting in the sun but not quite melted yet.
There’s so much to say. Who’s listening? Perhaps no one. Perhaps the all the universe. The wordsare so important because they prove existence at a sometimes low and sometimes high level. Thebardo waiting room is like a circus with many actors performing simultaneously. You don’t knowwho to listen to first, second, last. All the conversations begin to blend into one show. None of thewomen can account for their sinful passage to this clearly ominous place. Now it’s home, Now it’s abattlefield. Now it’s a comforting therapy. It changes as the women reveal their angst.
Marie Glancy O’Shea asks the question, “What makes women different from men and from eachother?” The profound answer is they’re not so different. The ethereal actor Sam Flynn emotes abouttransformations that can be both physical and spiritual. It’s Gina Bonati who brings to the bardo ahumanistic presence with motherly compassion and down to earth humor.
Brilliantly sequinned actor-singer Sonia Villani brings color and high energy sparks to the bardo.She singlehandedly turns the black mourning clothes of the six women into a center of fireworks
and possibilities for a different life. But alas to no avail. The profound sadness of language sweeps
over the women like a net over fish at sea.
Adding to the chaos and mayhem of the bardo’s parnoia comes a television shock interviewer
seeking a dramatic personal story to report to…whom? Michelle Best metaphorically scares the
panties off the women who don’t want to be glamorized for their sins. The bardo is no place for
antagonism or provocative acts.
Lisa Giobbi and Danielle Aziza give outstanding performances with their physical theater
movements and dance. Tatyana Kot mirrors them with quotidian notions of movement in a simpler
less verbal world.
All this is made palatable and possible by director Ildiko Nemeth. Her signature style of ensemble
directing once again creates a profound world on stage.