Elza Zagreda's Latest One-Woman Show

Due to my busy schedule, I missed seeing my friend Elza Zagreda's latest show. Judging by the title alone, it surely was another tour de force -- Dating, Depression & Dirtbags: A Love StoryAs I've mentioned before, Elza is an extremely talented actress with incredible stage presence. Her intelligence shines through in the words she writes and the choices she makes in every performance.

My first encounter with Elza was in high school when she and I acted in the classical comedy The Old Grouch, a translation of the Ancient Greek play Dyskolos by Menander, the Athenian dramatist. I played Pyrrhias, the servant, and Elza was my hilariously shrewish counterpart. The highlight of the show was when a bottle was smashed over my head. Ahhh, memories.

I'm lucky to have a guest post today by Anne Giordano that gives us a hint of what we missed. Here is her review of the play...


Written and performed by Elza Zagreda
Directed by Joan Kane

Until there is a guaranteed method for successfully and rapidly overcoming heartbreak, everybody has to attempt to plot out his or her unique healing itinerary.

In her latest one-woman show, DATING, DEPRESSION & DIRTBAGS: A LOVE STORY, Elza Zagreda takes us on her bittersweet journey back to being able to love and trust. Surviving a brutal divorce (and the drawn-out, abusive events preceding the split), she throws herself into yoga, excessive drinking, religion, and pole dancing lessons to shake off the hurt.

As the child of Albanian immigrants (fans will be excited to see her recurring characters, Strong Lady, Rok, and bullet-proof Aunt Shirley) marriage is exquisitely sacred and divorces are rare and scandalous. "No divorce no matter what," is the unstoppable mantra of her heritage, making heavier Zagreda's feelings about her situation, and the path to wellness more difficult. She is comforted by loving members of her community, yet simultaneously alone in the process.

Director Joan Kane cautiously and expertly coaches her actor, encouraging her to dig deep and share her most painful memories with the audience. Zagreda, a brave and talented performer, renders her viewers awestruck at strategic moments in the show. We are left hoping that in the very near future she finds happiness off-stage with a "non-dirtbag" by drawing on her experience, and by using the protective power of her stellar humor, as she negotiates the endlessly tricky, illogical demands of the heart.

For more information about Elza, please visit her Web site at http://www.elzazagreda.com/