Charlayne Woodard in The Night Watcher at La Jolla Playhouse
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The last date listed for The Night Watcher was Thursday July 17, 2008 / 8:00pm.
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Directed by Bill Condon (films Chicago, Dreamgirls) and inspired by the true story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, La Jolla Playhouse's production of the Tony Award-nominated musical Side Show follows the two sisters -- literally joined at the hip -- on their meteoric rise to fame during the 1930s and beyond. Track their personal and professional lives from circus sideshow freaks to vaudeville headliners as well as their lifelong search for independence and love. From the composer of Dreamgirls, Side Show features the songs "I Will Never Leave You," "Who Will Love Me As I Am?" and "Come Look at the Freaks." Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Glen Davis
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I suppose I would have to agree most with "critical eye" comments above. I found the writing to be basically a predicatable and self-serving puff piece to rationalize and justify the writer's life choices. I was most disappointed that this "page-to-stage" dialogue with the audience consisted mostly of the participants praising the work, rather than an insightful discussion of suggested improvements. My own comments would have recommended that the characters be imbued with even more distinguishable attributes, most specifically in the phone conversations. I also thought that she presented her decisions as if they were somehow superior to those made by many people, including those who could not bear children or who consciously chose to stop the continuance of their gene pools due to inherited disabilities, and even including glbt couples who might otherwise have wanted children. I found the title misleading despite the explanation. "The Village Watcher" might be more appropriate. What I liked were her use of Louise Hay-styled affirmations, and her unapologetic self-promotion. I have to say that I also agreed with the audience members who wished she would have included more music. I found myself wishing she acknowledged her husband's support and contributions at the end of the second act, for continuity's sake.
She has a wonderful energy and an incredible voice with a beautiful range of abilities. A stronger writer could help make this an important piece.
Lastly...at the end (spoiler here) I would have been more moved if her discussion with the elder had been more of an awakening to her blessings than just the affirmation of them. God truly Does bless us, (He or She is an irrelevant and limited perspective.)
But that's just me. I'm glad I went, and might even return to see what changes have been incorporated at the end of the run.
Quotes & Highlights
- "First, Woodard held us in the palm of her artful hand; then she blew us away." --The Hollywood Reporter
- "Charlayne Woodard is radiant, exuberant and gorgeous." --Newsday
As the beloved "Auntie," Charlayne Woodard guides her brood of 30 children through the dangers of modern childhood. Overloaded with information in a world that challenges them to grow up too quickly, Charlayne's kids find a safe haven in which to open up, give themselves a break and just be themselves. Meet these remarkable kids through Charlayne's delightful and touching stories of their greatest fears and personal triumphs. Acting as their confidant, number one fan and coach, Charlayne provides what all children should have in their lives: a loving mentor who puts dreams in their heads, keeps their secrets and protects them in an uncertain world.
Following in the La Jolla Playhouse tradition of presenting original and moving one-person shows, this solo work by Charlayne Woodard takes the audience on a magical, crazy and funny ride.
Award-winning actor and playwright Charlayne Woodard's first solo play Pretty Fire premiered in San Diego at La Jolla Playhouse in 1999 and received L.A. Drama Critics and NAACP awards for best play and best playwright. She has since garnered an an Obie Award for her performance in In the Blood and been nominated for Tony and Drama Desk Awards for her role in the original company of Ain't Misbehavin'. She is a guest teaching artist of solo performance at the California Institute for the Arts and has appeared in numerous films and television programs such as "Chicago Hope" and "Law & Order."
This is a Page to Stage Workshop Production.