Friday, March 20, 2015

My Beautiful Grandmother

Play #64 - My Beautiful Grandmother by Amina Henry

This is a strange, sweet, melancholy little play about an unusual meet cute at a laundromat. Shirley is 76, Joe is in his 20s. When Shirley strikes up a conversation, Joe has no idea where it's going to take him. It turns out that Shirley has been quite lonely over the last 15 years since her husband died. She feels like she's invisible, but she still has so much life inside of her. So she asks this handsome young man to come home with her to have sex - for $800. Joe refuses over and over, baffled by the request. But Shirley persists - she is a sensual person, this may well be her last chance to have sex, she feels like she sees something remarkable in him, this would be a great act of kindness. A production of this play would have to be careful not to poke fun at Shirley, as it would be easy to do. This is a funny situation in that it is unexpected, but it needs to not be TOO funny. She is a human being with needs and feelings, reaching out to another human being because she believes that there could be a connection there. And she believes that it could benefit him as well - that the kindness he shows to her now will radiate through him, will make him attractive to other women. It's sad to think about the ways in which the elderly can feel like they are disappearing long before they ever actually pass away. And this could, in the right hands, be a kind of fun, insightful exploration of that.

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