Live Performance Lives!

Ironically, while Fuller refrains from cluttering the stage with scenery or props -- a decision that highlights Kearns's mesmerizing language -- the director bookends each act with love songs from oft-performed Broadway musicals. Before the first and after the last monologue in both acts, Danielle Moreno proffers what the program calls a "musical interlude," singing "Anything but Lonely" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love, "Unexpected Song" from Webber's Song and Dance, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, and "On My Own" from Les Miserables. Although an unnerving choice for Fuller to have made, it is not entirely unsuccessful. The songs speak of love in broad brush strokes that sound almost corny compared to Kearns's unsentimental frankness. And, although Moreno has an achingly lovely voice, her gestures while singing the first three tunes seem stilted. Yet she hits pay dirt during her final number. With the words of the piece's closing monologue still hanging in the air, the waiflike yellow-haired chanteuse returns to the stage in her long ivory lace dress. With raw simplicity, she offers a short version of "On My Own" that provides stirring closure to the show.

Often life's painful realities, so eloquently expressed in intimacies, lead many of us to seek out the comforting escape of glamour and glitz in lavishly produced commercial work. I was weaned on that style of theater and can't imagine not indulging my taste for it now and again. Yet, as one of only a few audience members sitting on folding chairs in a funky space located in an underpopulated area of Miami, I was as touched by the poignant stories and unpretentious performances in Imazari's production of intimacies as by anything I've seen in more conventional settings. Don't miss this moving evening.

intimacies ... more intimacies.
Written by Michael Kearns; directed by Shelbric A. Fuller; with Barbara Austrich-Rivero, Daniel Barr, Scott Buckley, and Danielle Moreno. Through August 25. For information call 446-4905 or see "Calendar Listings.

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