The swig era
Diane Faith Spodarek's "The Drunk Monologues" are a mostly disappointing dramatization of an unhappy life with the bottle.
By JOSHUA TANZER
You enter the darkened theater to the sounds of an electric guitar, played badly. Then an indiscernible video is projected on the wall (that's what makes this show "multimedia") and finally Diane Faith Spodarek emerges from the shadows with guitar in hand.
"The Drunk Monologues" is a series of apparently autobiographical vignettes that have in common two things: drinking and suffering.
Spodarek, now a New York actress, was born in Canada and grew up in Detroit, where to this day, she says, there are at least two bars with drinks named after her, one called "The Dangerous Diane."
She recalls founding an early punk band and meeting some of the rock stars of that time anti-stars, really, like fellow Detroiters Iggy Pop and Patti Smith. Then she plays a sample of her music and it's clear, unfortunately, that she's not a major talent in the rock and roll department.
|THE DRUNK MONOLOGUES|
|Written and performed by: Diane Faith Spodarek.|
Directed by: Russell Dobular.
But there are some amusing bits, like the part about the band member who didn't tell her he was really a man. "Which is no problem, really," she notes, "unless you book yourself as an all-female band and you can see the lead guitarist's penis under her tight red dress."
As the show continues, it feels more like a plea for sympathy than a sharing of insight about the drinking life. Only the last two segments seem to have a spark of creativity. One involves an down-and-out uptowner critiquing the architecture ("That building's so ugly I need a beer just to look at it!") as well as the local yuppie population. Most of the other segments are just tales of misery and resentment to the accompaniment of a large bottle of vodka. (Real vodka? I don't know.) It's a lot to sit through just to get to the good parts.
|MARCH 12, 2001|
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