Beautiful, Terrifying, Love, is one of a number of shows produced by Walk a Mile Works that are performing a limited run at Paradise in The Vault. The play is an autobiographical solo show, written and performed by actress Debra De Liso.
The play promises to be an entertaining and touching tale of the ups and downs of a woman’s life in Hollywood, but sadly it fails to deliver. De Liso performs the entire play with the script in her hand. She carries an open binder throughout in order to reference her own life story, which greatly interferes with the storytelling. As though scared to be parted from the script, she barely projects her voice, makes gestures that need to be more evident and injects virtually no energy into her performance. The scene changes within piece are also very clunky.
It appears as though she is emoting rather than acting genuine, feeling the anger, hurt, hope and humour of the piece. The dialogue itself is saccharine sweet and clichéd, losing any possibility for empathy.
In the play, she mentions that she has played Blanche DuBois, worked with Ian McKellen and taught acting full-time at a college in California. However watching and listening to her, it is hard to believe she is the same person whose life she is describing.
Beautiful, Terrifying, Love is a lackluster piece. However, the general story is interesting enough that if it were staged under different circumstances, it might be able to realise its potential.