On Friday, February 17, 2012, I attended OBIE Award Winner David Drake's new one-man show "My Tawny Valentine" at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC. Performing as his alter ego, Tawny Heatherton, "My Tawny Valentine" takes the audience on the wild ride that is Tawny's life. From her humble beginnings on Long Island to becoming an international one-hit-wonder to finding love, Tawny's roller coaster life is played out perfectly by David! What makes David such a remarkable writer and performer is that he KNOWS his craft. He effortlessly entices the audience with his words. In this particular show, I quickly forgot David was performing and just focused on Tawny. I felt as though Tawny Heatherton was a real person and not a character created by David.
In "My Tawny Valentine," David brings Tawny to life. With a mixture of song, multi-media, and scripted text, Tawny highlights her life. While most of the show is scripted, I felt as though some parts of the show were improvised, especially when Tawny interacts with the audience. (That is one more reason David is a genius writer, because I couldn't fully tell if the parts I felt were improvised were or if they were part of the script). One thing that made Tawny so real to me was the display of her vulnerability. The excitement of her rise in the music world is quite evident, but it was the tough moments, the heartache, Tawny has suffered throughout her life that really made me feel for her. Without giving too much away, there are a few heavy moments amist the humor and fun. I like that a lot! I feel it reflects the way someone's life really is.
A quality writer and performer truly knows how to make the audience believe what is being shown before them. David Drake is of that high quality because he has created a show that demonstrates this sentiment. He really knows how to write a show with a lot of humor and pure heart!
"My Tawny Valentine" plays the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue) every Friday at 7:30pm through March 2, with an added performance on Thursday, February 23 and March 1. Click here for tickets!