Thursday, August 26, 2021

Transetter (HFF2021)


Spoilers ahoy!

Earlier this year, a friend of mine re-appeared in Los Angeles.  Hadn't heard of or from them in awhile, but what with the pandemic that was no real surprise.  When they did emerge, they did so as a new person.

Transetter is a one person show about how Carey Matthews became Veronica Carey Matthews, told with the same kind of humor which I always loved in my friend.  But lots more naked honesty.  This marks the second time a fringe show this year has led me to know a friend far better than before.  Frankly, I feel both touched and honored by that fact.

In a nutshell, Carey's life began to fall apart, due to a variety of issues (see the play for most details--fascinating and often painful) which she gradually makes clear were largely symptoms of a fundamental issue.  Both explained and also acted out before us, we get to know Carey as a young man at war with himself, denying some aspects of his own identity so fiercely it took a long time for those issues even to become VISIBLE!

Veronica introduces herself as that issue, i.e. the person Carey in sense always was, yet needed to find a way to accept and then become.

Honestly, this tale is of a life hitting not quite rock bottom, at least not physically (almost, though).  From this, eventually, the masks begin to fall.  Carey begins to seem themselves for who they truly are, what they truly want.  And--again, I must emphasize--this whole story and performance remains amazingly lighthearted, even funny, without losing its genuine power.  A tightrope our hostess/performer crosses all the way to the end with great skill.

Yet it is not an end.  Such is the whole point.  Rather it is a beginning.  

This show has closed, but hopefully shall be revived at some point in some venue.

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