Thursday, December 01, 2011

An evening with "The Night Watcher"

A couple of weekends ago, I had the fortunate opportunity to attend "The Night Watcher" at the Kirk Douglas Theatre (thanks to Allied Live for the comp tickets). Neither my husband nor I had ever been to KDT, and I had been considering purchasing tickets to the show anyway, so of course I jumped at the chance when it was offered.

"The Night Watcher" is a one-woman show written and skillfully performed by Tony Award nominee Charlayne Woodard. In this play, Ms. Woodard fluidly moves in and out of characters as she tells the stories of her "children" - none of which are biological, but all confide in her and trust her as a second mother (or in some instances, as their only mother-figure).

I admire and respect anyone who can pull off a one-person show. The challenges that come with keeping the audience engaged and interested are intimidating to me, but that's probably why I'm not an actor. Woodard does an outstanding job, taking the audience on an emotional ride as you journey with her through the children's lives. I laughed. I cried. I was shocked and horrified. I was scared. I was excited. I felt proud.

Tackling heavy and sometimes disturbing situations, Woodard carefully and strategically inserts humor and positive notes throughout the play so that the audience does not leave feeling depressed, guilty or even sympathetic as often times these types of shows can do. Instead, you leave with a smile, feeling uplifted and perhaps even inspired.

From a personal perspective, this story of motherhood touched me as I thought about my daughter and some of the challenges and happy moments we will share. It made me even more excited about my own journey on this path of parenthood.

"The Night Watcher" starring Charlayne Woodard is currently running at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City now through December 18. For more information on show times, or to purchase tickets, call 213-628-2772 or visit


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