In Stopping By, a new play written and performed by Barbara Tarbuck, an older woman named Christine deals with the decline and death of a beloved husband, deranged and debilitated by a stroke. She finds peace and closure in her first ever trip to Burning Man. That’s a bare description of an engaging, heartfelt evening terrific theatre.
Ms. Tarbuck, a consummate actor, gives an inspired solo performance presenting a dozen vivid characters in a show that runs some minutes more than an hour. With physicality and abandon, the agile Tarbuck rolls on the floor, scrunches up on a coffee table that serves as a hospital bed, straddles the Gong at Burning Man and more. She sings and weeps. She roams the stage in joy and sorrow, acting out the sweetness of young love and the agony of loss and a myriad of emotions between the extremes. The scope of the piece is expansive, ranging in time from a telling, early childhood scene with her amiable younger brother Jacques, her most affecting character and my favorite, to, perhaps, last summer’s Burning Man.
There is not much else to say but…see this fine actor in her sharply written performance piece before it is gone!
Stopping By continues June 4 – 25 at Edgemar Center for the Arts,
2437 Main St., Santa Monica, CA. It plays on Saturdays at 8 p.m.: June 4, 11, 18, 25.