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Ann Carr: Use It @ UCBT - 3.12.9By: Abbi Crutchfield

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Ann Carr | Photo: Anya Garrett

And the Oscar goes to ... not you. Probably not ever. But maybe the secret to your success is watching instead of winning. Enter Ann Carr, actress and comedian, who feels your pain and tells you what to do with it in her latest one-woman show, Use It.

Employing an unconventionally limited number of characters, Carr offers a glimpse inside the world of struggling actors and explores what hinders and motivates them. From your seat, you take part in the show, enduring the (day job) office drone, "My son's bar mitzvah theme is TMZ..." and waiting to audition with an overrated seven-year-old coached by his mega-mouth mother. As an Academy Award-winner who blanks on stage and forgets her husband's name, Ann Carr becomes both a stereotype and someone convincing. As a weepy Starbucks patron who is at the end of her auditioning rope, Carr creates a sympathetic reflection of every starving artist who has hit rock bottom. You get more than one version of this tearful despair in the show, which is a testament to both Carr's range and the fickleness of show business.

The strength of this show lies in Carr's energy and chops, though continuity and blocking kudos go to director (and fellow UCB darling) Eliza Skinner, who ties the vignettes with good music, well-timed fade-outs and staged call-backs through physicality and costume, in addition to dialogue. The show has had an extended run, paired with Jill Donnelly's Amnesia and Attempted Murder. And another sign of the show's success since its February debut was the number of notable comedians it drew in the crowd: Andres du Bouchet, Mike Dobbins, Adira Amram, Vicki Ferentinos and Seth Herzog. The show could leave you feeling just as jaded about fame as you already are, but no less inspired by the journey.

--Abbi Crutchfield is a standup comic and co-producer of The Living Room.

Catch Ann Carr: Use It THURS, MARCH 26 @ 8PM at The UCBT | Tickets
Inside With: Ann Carr, Character Actress

Reader Comments (3)

A great show!! The scene with the mother of the child actor is far too realistic (in a good way).. I was getting very angry at her character. My favorite line was "It's a holiday special?" That made me laugh and cry at the same time.
March 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersoce
Celebs spotted also include Soce the Elemental Wizard.
March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAbbi Crutchfield
Abbi, you are far too kind. Seriously though, please stop being so kind. Thanks.
April 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersoce

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