Written and performed by Amy Ziff
Produced by Theater J at Studio Theatre 2ndStage
Reviewed by Ronnie Ruff.
Ok…. sorry to say but DC Favorite Amy Ziff is dead. The poor gal slipped in the tub and had a run in with a very sharp straight razor. Smoothly shaved legs have never cost so much. As Amy awaits her destiny before the Supreme Being, she shares with us her anxieties about her future. Will she go north to visit with her grandmother or will she end up where all dead rock stars go, a bit further south? Lucky for us the tally is displayed on a large video screen behind Ms. Ziff with enough techy PowerPoint special effects to make it very funny. Such is the plot of Ziff’s one woman show, Accident, the first in Theater J’s Incubator Series, which has a polished, very finished feel. Rebecca Asher directs the piece.
For those of you not familiar with Ms. Ziff she is a member and front woman for the popular local rock band Betty originally from DC. Ziff is a spectacular talent - she takes us on a journey through her life thus far with so much humor and whimsical commentary that I was sad it had to end only an hour later. Clearly, she could have gone on two more without running out of material. She tells us of her fear of flying, achingly funny encounters with amorous four legged friends, life as a rock star, gynecological exams with nosey nurses, botulism from three week old Pasta Alfredo and other equally amusing tales of life’s lessons. Yes she is a bit of a punk Diva and yes some of her mimicry of various local accents are a bit over the top but she is able to make us laugh and I have to tell you on opening night there was no shortage of that.
Accident’s design (sound, set and costume) is pretty damn cool Music for the show ranges from nostalgic (Fifth Dimension) to inventive (A pretty ballad on the viola). An old claw foot bathtub and free standing sink make up the set - oops don’t forget Amy’s dead corpse complete with blond dreadlocks and slashed wrists. There are no credits in the program for the designers of both visual and sound designs but a very pleasing set with a good use of video, computer graphics and music add to the performance in a positive way.
If you liked Betty’s performance of Betty Rules, you will love Accident! If however punk is a term you associate with name calling in elementary school or if you think Elvis was the last good thing in Rock, you may find much of the humor and Amy herself a bit confusing. That said, I think Accident was a joy and Ziff is one of my favorite divas, punk or otherwise.
Theater J’s production of Accident continues at Studio Theatre’s 2ndStage at 1501 14th St NW, Washington, DC. Performances run through Sunday, Sept 23rd, Wednesdays thru Sundays with no Friday performances. Some matinees. Tickets: $25. To order, call 800-494-TIXS or visit the website.