Recently, I was invited by the beloved Mary Faktor to attend her one woman show The Six Ages of Woman. I have known Mary for some time, and have been familiar with her show, but this was the first performance where schedules clicked. When someone invites you to a show, and more importantly a one person show which they have written, you really hope it is going to be good. Well, it was! I settled into the St. Michaels Woodside Party Center in Broadview Heights, surrounded by 175 women and 2 men hiding in plain sight. These ladies were wired up for fun, and I am sure the men were wondering what the hell was going to happen.

The 90 minute script is drawn from Faktor’s life experiences, and tweaked and edited as the years have gone by to include more relevant topics and observations. The set is simple. A backdrop that allows for costume changes to occur on stage, with appropriate coverage, a chair and a phone and table. The rest is conversation and story telling that will cover The Six Ages of Woman with hilarious results.

Before the “show” actually begins, Faktor takes the stage to introduce herself and what the evening is about. She covers her current range of occupations, her performance pedigrees, her movie career, and outlines her family history. Describing life as a young woman, Faktor covers what it feels like to hear “You look good for your age,” and what the conditions used to be like to obtain the title of “good girl.’ You can just hear the woman in the audience getting ready to rumble. Faktor explains how she found herself at a low emotional point, wanting more out of life, and how theatre became an outlet. Which resulted in getting cast in a show. Her breakout role. A depressed housewife.

She challenges the audience to examine their “What If?” world, and reassures them that “There is a reason for everything.” Faktor has had 33 years to develop her message of hope through laughter and some slightly racy humor, which is eaten up faster than the desserts. On With the Show!

We follow “Vicki” by listening in on her phone conversations with her best friend, Madge. We never meet Madge, but trust me, we all have a Madge in our lives. The show opens with Vicki as a teenager reading her current issue of True Romance. Decked out in a pink sweater, that should get a curtain call on its own. In fact, all the costumes throughout the evening are extremely fun. We listen in on a discussion about being asked out on a first date by Alan Zerwicki, and the plans that follow, that include Bowling and White Castle. We also hear about Vicki’s feelings about how she is going to treat her kids in the future. A bold statement from someone too young to know the path before her.  As she reads Good Housekeeping, we learn Vicki got married to Alan. That must have been some good White Castle.  They talk about the first time for sex, the first decorating motif, and the first master plan of when to have babies, all with comic delight.

Vicki is pregnant and reading her Baby Magazine. We venture through trips to the gynecologist, sex dreams, and exploring the vision of how to be a wonderful mom. Reading the National Enquirer signals the next phase of owning a new home, and having a baby, or as Vicki explains to Madge who has just come back from a trip to Monte Carlo, how the 4th pregnancy is going. We hear about the master plan, sugar, eBay, and even more sex dreams.  The Successful Woman magazine signals a new phase that explores why it has suddenly gotten a little hot in here, how Vicki has entered business management, Marriage counseling and that one long chin hair. 50 years after the first phone call, Vicki is reading AARP. Faktor displays some mad bra skills with an epic “removal under the sweatshirt” to thunderous laughter and applause. But, we also enjoy Viagra, a bittersweet conversation with Madge, and the joys of becoming a grandmother.

This is a grand presentation of life presented with deft comedic monologues and terrific characterizations.  The costumes are delightful, and even the phone changes by time period, which is a nice detail. My mother would have had a tremendous time.  This show is funny, and gently bumps into sex jokes without setting off any defibrillators. This is really a perfect show for adult women to bring their friends, mothers, and grandmothers. But, the men will have fun too. To borrow from the marketing material, this show is a perfect choice for church, hospital and organizations fund raisers, conventions, conferences and social banquets.

Check out Mark Faktor at www.MaryFaktor.com. There is a lot of fun going on here.

Tpography.com

6/23/14

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