Secrets Women Share
nytheatre.com review by Shelley Molad
July 15, 2007
Secrets Women Share is a series of vignettes written by Meri Wallace that examine the intimate relations formed between women, whether they are young or old, closely related, or even strangers, and it reminds us that the tendency to share is a unique quality which often brings women together.
Of the six scenes in Secrets Women Share, it is the final one that makes the entire experience worthwhile. It is set in a spa where a Russian, Marta, busily pampers her customers. Erin Schmoyer steals the spotlight as Marta. Amusing and entertaining, Schmoyer's Marta lights up the room with her quirky behavior and genuine interest in the soap opera of her clients' lives. Also worth mentioning in this scene is a monologue from one of Marta's customers (played by Annalisa Loeffler) who speaks out her longing to feel desired. Loeffler has a nice moment of self-reflection, and we are reminded that while women are compelled to share secrets with other women, at times they must first admit them to themselves.
In an earlier piece, Torey Marks and Allison Colby are charming and humorous in their portrayal of two sisters, Rachel and Sarah, who are stuck atop a roller coaster. But when Rachel reveals a shocking secret to Sarah, it seems as though the focus resides on the humor of the situation rather than the looming issue at hand. We are left without a resolution.
The unexpected meeting of two women (Maureen Griffin and Annalisa Loeffler) in the waiting room of a gynecologist's office shows us that the developing relationship between two strangers linked by a man can be interesting, surprising, and even touching. This particular scene seemed to resonate with women over 30, who have had to undergo mammograms and deal with the fears of breast cancer. Indeed, each vignette seems to speak to a specific audience, while the entire piece targets women as a whole.
Daniel Soule's simple, creative set and James Whalen's sound effects are quite clever; in one scene it almost feels as though we are in a women's restroom eavesdropping in line.
Secrets Women Share is definitely a show that some or all women can relate to, and it is worth the experience if you can get past some of the clichéd dialogue and array of unresolved stories, even if it's only to experience the delight which Schmoyer brings to the last and final scene.