I Will Be Good
nytheatre.com review by Shelley Molad
August 17, 2011
I Will Be Good is a one-woman show written and performed by Tricia Rose Burt. Like most solo shows, I Will Be Good is autobiographical. Tricia Rose hails from the South. Raised in a conservative community and expected to adhere to her family's strict guidelines, Burt shares her journey to find herself and break free from her roots.
It takes a while for Burt to hook us in. She does not immediately appear comfortable on stage. As she gains more confidence, it's apparent that Burt is a good storyteller and budding comedian. Her anecdotes are humorous, and she succeeds in painting a vivid picture of her childhood for us.
Once Burt moves around the stage, she invites theatricality, which this piece certainly benefits from. There is a projection screen on stage, which is utilized a few times and adds a nice touch. It seems that director Judith Stone is too careful with this production, which is unfortunate because when Burt is given the opportunity to be theatrical, she shines. Memorable examples include a cheerleading dance, mimicking her young self misbehaving at church, and hat shopping with her childhood friends.
There is a reliance on telling rather than showing throughout this piece, which gets a few laughs but prevents us from seeing Burt really experience or feel anything. There is a moment when she recalls attending a funeral; she sings with her eyes closed, and it's one of the only moments she allows us to see her pain. Perhaps the need to entertain us for two hours prevents full expression, but the stage demands it.
Aside from the challenge of putting on a solo show—not an easy feat—Burt manages to examine heartfelt issues, while maintaining a sense of humor, as she shares personal doubts about love, marriage, family, religion, politics, and her career. I Will Be Good evokes the importance of accepting who we are and where we came from, while encouraging us not to be afraid of embracing change.