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WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW Maxine & Robert Seller Theatre/Jewish Repertory Theatre
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Feb 14, 2020, 17:03
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Through March 1
WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW Maxine & Robert Seller Theatre/Jewish Repertory Theatre

One-performer shows can be among the great stage shows of theater, one performer on a stage trying to tell a story, funny, sad or just entertaining.
These shows can also be a test of the director and the performer.
That’s why Josie DiVincenzo and director Saul Elkin are so good in Alice Eve Cohen’s “What I Thought I Knew” from the Jewish Rep.
In the course of the show, DiVincenzo plays around 40 characters on a relatively bare stage.
Clearly, director and cast had to spend a lot of time figuring out the movements and accents and body language of each character and where she will be on the Seller Theatre stage.
DiVincenzo’s Alice is an actor and acting teacher who’s having some health problems and going through a string of doctors (all played by DiVincenzo) until she finally discovers her relationship is about to become three-way with a baby six-months along, unnoticed by the cream of Manhattan doctors.
This is a risky pregnancy for a woman in her 40s and she doesn’t want a second child, to go with the child she adopted during her first marriage and she isn’t sure her fiancé wants a baby.
She ponders what to do, even coming close to going to Kansas for a very late term abortion from a name-checked doctor who was murdered by anti-abortion activists.
In the end, she avoids potential problems and has the baby, born with a noticeable birth defect.
New husband and new wife decide they will be a family of four, one with serious physical problems.
Cohen’s play revolves around a modern woman who must deal with ancient problems and decide what to do.
In this long one-act play, the performer tells a story with skill and artistry and societal understanding.
“What I Thought I Knew” is exactly that, a woman who watches so many of her rock-solid attitudes changed by life, real life.
Cohen contributed a fine script of a current story.
What makes the JRT production work is another extraordinary performance from DiVincenzo.
Can’t we find more shows which need her?

A.W.

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