Professional Nonprofit Theater on Martha's Vineyard
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Playhouse Opens Series of One-Woman Shows

by Louisa Hufstader, Vineyard Gazette

Last weekend at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, audiences witnessed the transformation of a dumpy, embittered divorcée into a polished, professional and optimistic single woman in Lynne Adams’s solo show Two-Faced.

As Friday’s performance began, the largely female audience laughed frequently and with gusto as Ms. Adams’s witty, white-haired protagonist contended with the many indignities of an at-home facelift ­— adhesive tabs to tauten her skin, eyelid glue to brighten her gaze, contour shading to shape her face ­— commenting all the while on her life, her children, her job prospects and the husband who left her.

“I loved him when he was poor and weak,” she tells her mirror. “Too bad he couldn’t love me when I was old and ugly.”

Resolved to clamber out of her post-divorce slump, Ms. Adams’s character undergoes the makeover in a determined effort to get back her pre-marital job so she can afford to keep living in the family home. Her lifted face, girdled figure and dark wig open doors for her at work and get men flirting with her again, though she’s not sure how to move forward with her sexual attraction to someone.

“He’d go to bed with one person and wake up with someone else,” she muses as she primps her wig.

A series of blackouts separate the scenes in which she returns from her forays into work and social life, becoming increasingly confident after each encounter. Even her ex-husband wants to sleep with her now.

But it’s only when she goes “au naturel,” wigless and facelift-free, that she truly begins to discover the pleasures of moving on with life.

Two-Faced opened in Woodstock in 1992 and later moved to Los Angeles, where it won several theatre awards. Ms. Adams was originally directed in the play by her sister Brooke Adams, who was in the playhouse audience Friday night.

For this production, Ms. Adams prepared with the help of playhouse literary manager Jenny Allen.

Two-Faced opened a spring series of one-woman shows at the playhouse. Next up, on May 10 and 11, Molly Conole presents an autobiographical musical evening titled Seaglass, Quilts & Song: A Life in Pieces. Playhouse artistic and executive director MJ Bruder Munafo directs the show, with book, lyrics and music by Ms. Conole.

Ms. Bruder Munafo also directs actress/singer Shelagh Hackett in Ms. Hackett’s Kiss Me I’m Irish on May 17 and 18.

The series concludes May 24 and 25 with Every Soul’s A Cabaret with Betsy, written and performed by Elizabeth Parrish with musical director Mark Fifer. Paola Styron directs the evening, which pays tribute to artists and performers.

All shows begin at 7:30 p.m.

The playhouse begins its summer season June 22 with Dear Elizabeth, a play by Sara Ruhl about the long, close friendship between poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.

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