|Debra Berger and Emily Michaels King|
(photo by Dan Norman)
The audience is let into the theater just before showtime, where Emily and Debra are lying on the floor of the Crane Theater stage space, and we begin with a mediation (which I kind of think every show should). A few outfits are carefully arranged on the floor around them, and a long clothes rack at the back of the stage holds neatly hung clothing in every possible shade of pink, like a life-sized Barbie doll dream closet. Some items are eventually worn, some are just for display, and most end up on the floor (along with everything else) by the end of the show. Debra's alter ego is the "Country Star," and Emily's is the "Superhero," which they at times transform into in their middle school fantasies, meeting in this imaginary world. This is also a story of friendship; you can feel the love and support between these two artists as they perform at times together, at times stepping aside to hold space for the other. I love how they each tape off a square for themselves, overlapping in one corner like a Venn diagram, because this show is like the best Venn diagram of Emily and Debra's overlapping and complementary talents as artists.
The Show is a well curated selection of scenes, stories, dances, moments that bring the audience on an emotional journey through the past and back into the present. It's easy to connect to their stories, with many relatable moments whether or not you were a teenage girl in the '90s. It touches on those raw places of emotion, insecurities, fears, and the endless journey of trying to figure out who you are and where you belong. It feels like a cathartic experience, for the artists as well as the audience.
Go see The Show, many years (even decades) in the making, at the Crane Theater through September 17 only!