One of the most spectacular solo performances I have witnessed in some time, was that of Ann Randolph in her moving, yet comedic “Loveland”. Appearing at the Marsh Theater on Valencia through June 4th, Randolph brings her life experiences, her Ohio upbringing, gift of storytelling and physical humor to all new heights in this play. Loveland focuses on Randolph’s character Franny Potts, an eccentric and odd lover nature, music, sex and her aging mother. Randolph’s uncanny ability to morph into Potts and a cast of other characters is something to behold and left me with both tears of laughter and poignant reflection.
Randolph is known across the country for her outrageous physical comedy, inspired monologues, hilarious characters, and poignant storytelling. She was born and raised in Ohio. She began her career by writing an original comedy for the patients at the Athens State Mental Hospital. After college, Randolph found herself living all over the country-Alaska, Boston, NYC, Santa Fe, and finally Los Angeles. She has appeared in countless show.
The Marsh was excited to announce the premiere of Randolph’s new solo show, one of 700 performances they put on each year. In Loveland, (named for an Ohio town), Randolph takes us on the irreverent, hilarious and deeply human journey of Franny Potts, while facing up to the greatest loss of her life while flying from LA to Ohio surrounded by strangers, Franny stumbles her way from awkward confusion through the mystery, tragedy and beauty that unite all us.
A stunning performer, Mel Brooks compared Randolph to the late Gilda Radner for her audacious humor, her generosity and her ability to take us from tears to laughter in the same minute. Randolph’s previous solo show, “Squeeze Box,” was the Winner of LA Weekly’s “Best Solo Show” and the Los Angeles Times Ovation Award for “Best Solo Performer.”
Without giving too much away, Randolph is a phenomenal performer and her ability to contort her features as the wacky Potts, to a Yoga instructor, nursing home director, and her mother will leave you gasping for air with laughter. Frankly, I haven’t seen anything like this since Rowan Atkinson’s “Mr. Bean”. Randolph runs the gamut, love, death, sexual fantasies in a Whole Foods store, talent shows, airplane rides and camping trips; all will leave you nearly apoplectic. But there is also drama, enlightenment, pain, loss and a dozen more emotions that must be seen to be believed.
Loveland is Randolph’s tour de force and a one woman performance that should not be missed.
Ann Randolph’s LOVELAND
Now playing in San Francisco
Thru June 4, 2011
Fri 8:00 pm
Sat at 8:30pm
Plus two Sunday shows: May 1st and May 8th at 7pm
Sat, May 7
Fri, May 13
Fri, May 20
Sat, May 21