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Volume 68, Issue 112, Monday, March 17, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

'Normal' is anything but normal

By Erin Scoggan
The Daily Cougar

If you only attend one play this year, go see Normal, written and performed by Randall White.

White gives an impressive performance of 11 very different characters in this one-man show. To make the personalities come to life, White uses only the bare necessities for props. His face changes each time his muse does, making it seem like he is wearing several masks throughout the play. 



Richard White plays on of his personas, Rev. Norman W. Blessing, in the one-man production Normal.

Photo courtesy of Abbetuck Productions

White portrays women, children and the elderly with a dead-on precision that would impress even the most jaded theater major. Each character has his or her own story that gives a look into their troubled lives. 

The people White plays range from a married man trying to get the hook-up at a bar to a gay and bigoted make-up artist. A personal favorite was the reverend who delivered a sermon on the surprising truth of the Bible.

Each persona is presented one right after the other with no intermission. This style of acting makes one wonder how White can make such a smooth transition from one character to the other. 

White isnit too shabby a writer, either. Normal is hysterical and thought provoking at the same time, and might be considered controversial.

"My characters not only make audience members laugh and cry; they also make them gulp and squirm," White said. "I tell people to leave Aunt Esther at home, for this ainit (sic) no Neil Simon play." 

Whiteis personal history is as interesting as his play. After taking a 12-year break from his acting and writing career, Normal marks Whiteis return to the theater.

His priorities shifted after the death of his partner in 1997 and his own diagnosis with cancer that same year. White quit his stable career in non-profit management to return to his lower-paying passion.

"Writing and performing is what I always thought I would do for a living, until I allowed myself to become derailed by the expectations of others," said White. "Creating and performing Normal is, in essence, my professional return to ‘normal.i"

Normal has received rave reviews across the country from California to Oklahoma. White will perform the play again Friday through Sunday. Tickets for the Friday and Saturday 8 p.m. shows are $16 when purchased online at www.normaltheplay.com, or $20 at the door; tickets for the Sunday 3 p.m. show are $12 on-line or $15 at the door. Student stand-by tickets are $10 at the door with student ID. For more information on Normal, visit the Web site or call 877-946-9997.

Normal

DiverseWorks Art Space, 1117 East Freeway

The verdict: Whether you are gay, straight, boy, girl, young or old, Normal has something for you.
 Send comments to dcshobiz@mail.uh.edu

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