Set in a talent agency office, we are taken on a journey through the previously untold character autobiography of Millie Grable (portrayed by Debbie Chazen), an actress who gives up on her dreams of the limelight and becomes an acting agent so she can live through others’ successes. The show is a mere reflection of what it is like to be overlooked and how luck plays a factor in each person’s pursuit of fame.

Credit: Alistair Lindsay

From the beginning, we are engulfed by the smell of herbal cigarettes in the small space, which was understandably used to set the time of the piece but left me sitting with an unpleasant smell that lingered throughout the performance. Chazen has obvious stage presence with her ease of deliverance and clear diction; however, I don’t think this production allowed for much to be seen in terms of her talent, which is hard to fathom for a one-person show.

Dealing with many props along the way, this 75-minute journey is told through phone call conversations, record plays, and, on occasion, comedic interpretation of referenced characters. The realistic scenarios makes it somewhat relatable to people in the arts (or even general life with the way life hits people) and the ways of telling people not to seek their dreams. Although there were a few laughs here and there, it wasn’t enough to contrast the mundane feeling of general talk and not enough background of the character’s theatre endeavours. I was unable to get a sense of compassion for her, her theatre dreams, and the achievable arc.

Credit: Alistair Lindsay

Although there are serious topics within this piece, it lacks emotional direction (even at one point an accompaniment of a piano recording didn’t add anything), and I didn’t feel for the character. Chazen retreating to pour a drink is visually obvious and becomes very repetitive to watch – just like this, the overall show was pretty predictable.

There is use of the space door lighting illuminating the back, although I failed to see the relevance of this. The rest of the lighting by Alistair Lindsay doesn’t seem to add anything to the piece. There are significant colour changes, but due to the very natural element of the show, it just feels out of place.

Credit: Alistair Lindsay

I left this show confused, thinking more about why there was no bow than the subject of the show. I feel this script needs a revisit to add more character background, which might earn the emotive connection as currently the show itself feels irrelevant.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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