(Charles Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 4/8)
Unhappy Medium Searches for Clarity
Whida Peru, the flamboyant figure in the lace bodysuit and flowery silk wrap, is having serious boyfriend trouble. Her beloved Juannie is not communicating as he used to. Despite Whida’s effusive endearments and desperate entreaties — not to mention the new outfit she just bought him — Juannie shows marked signs of wanting to leave Whida altogether. “You must let me go,” he cries, again and again.
Oh, another problem: Juannie’s dead.
That last obstacle, in truth, poses no serious challenge to Whida, since she is by profession a medium. In her kitsch-cluttered lair on the Lower East Side, she converses easily with a host of friends from the beyond as if they were sitting in adjacent chairs at the nail salon. But now it appears that Whida’s enduring passion for the deceased Juannie must come to an end, and this big-hearted, tempestuous woman, portrayed by Judith Blazer with exuberant flair, is not going to give up the fight easily.
“Whida Peru: Resurrection Tangle” is the second and more substantial entry in the second production of “Inner Voices,” a program devoted to cultivating the solo musical form, now at 59E59 Theaters after making its debut at the Zipper Theater in 2008. Featuring spiky, multihued music by Josh Schmidt (“Adding Machine”) and a saucy book and lyrics by David Simpatico, it’s a funny and enjoyable portrait of a highly theatrical character.
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