Performance takes humorous approach to daily struggles

By: Karla Durango

“So My Grandmother Died, Blah Blah Blah,” which opened Friday at the Light Box Theatre at Goldman Warehouse, is a refreshing, yet complex and fast-paced comedy. The play’s plot centers around the emotional journey of the not-so-successful comedy writer, Polly Chekhov (Melissa Almaguer), as she confronts details of her career, past relationships and her relationship with her family. More specifically, the protagonist battles writer’s block while writing the “perfect” eulogy for her grandmother.
Written and directed by Paul Tei, director of “Burn Notice” and Miami’s Mad Cat Theatre Company founder and artistic director, the play offers a special theatrical experience: The audience is situated just inches away and is at the same level as the performers. Thus, the audience is transported into Polly’s world and feels like it plays its own role.
As the only writer in the family, Polly is given the task of writing her grandmother’s eulogy. While she procrastinates, Polly takes her audience through a trippy, yet enlightening journey in which her own personal Greek chorus transforms into different personalities and charges the audience with a great deal of information from a wide mix of subjects.
The play makes several allusions to various people and their work, including Ezra Pound, Billy Joel, Glee, Facebook and the Miami Heat. Though the amount of information in the plot can be overwhelming at times, the actors do a great job of making the plot as clear as possible for the audience.
“So My Grandmother Died” contains a wonderful cast. Each of the performances are incredibly dynamic and truthful. All the actors demonstrate a great use of language and mastery of their craft. In particular, the chorus of deconstructionists (Anne Chamberlain, Ricky Waugh and Troy Davidson) shows an impressive range of versatility. They sing, dance, taunt, inspire and morph into different personalities, while making you laugh non-stop.
Most of the action takes place in Polly’s parents’ house, and the set and light design brilliantly evoke the feeling of comfort and warmth that one generally associates with home.
If you seek some humor, and yearn to be moved by a young girl’s realistic struggles, this may be the play for you.

WHAT: “So My Grandmother Died, Blah, Blah, Blah”
WHERE: Light Box Theatre at Goldman Warehouse; 404 NW 26th St.
When: Aug. 19- Sept. 10