Let me preface this by saying that I love one person shows. I love them. I find them incredibly interesting and admirable; as someone who participates in theatre, watching an actor seamlessly switch between completely different characters in less than a split second for upwards of an hour and a half is just awe-inspiring. It never ceases to amaze me that an actor can memorize more than an hour of dialogue with specific ticks, mannerisms, and voices for each character. This show was no exception.
Bo-Nita at the Seattle Repertory Theatre is beautiful. It captures the unique voice of a young teenager in an unconventional way, and manages to be charged and convey an array of emotions without seeming forced, over-the-top, awkward, or dishonest. By the 10-minute mark of the performance, I already found myself loving this strange girl and her way of viewing the world. Playwright Elizabeth Heffron's writing thoughtfully develops Bo-Nita's quirks and way of speaking; the character feels real and honest. Hannah Mootz carries this show beautifully, she has the gift of comedy but can transition into weighty dialogue with ease when necessary.
This show addresses dark issues in a sensitive, bittersweet way. I never felt myself feeling pulled out of the performance or distracted by any excessive or exaggerated pieces the way I often am. This show feels like a good, well-developed book. It is feel-good without being cheesy. Bo-Nita is balanced in every sense of the word.
Go see this show. On every level it is unique. From the novelty of it, to its performance, to its content, the show is beautiful. I would recommend it to everyone. Even if I had a complete disdain for one-person shows, I am confident that I would find a little piece to love.
Seattle Repertory Theatre
Through November 17
NOTE: contains mature themes