Turkish Actor/author Fadik Sevin Atasoy has an impressive background of which any American artist would be proud. It reflects the imagination and variety of theatrical skills evidenced during Muse90401. Atasoy inhabits her mercurial role, moves beautifully, and has apparently directed herself in this demanding play. (Singing is less accomplished.)
Muse 90401 wants desperately to be human. “I wish I had a hand and arms to welcome my beloved.” The mother of 7000 languages doesn’t have a tongue or an ass “to shake or a vagina or penis of my own. I want them both! Humans create a symphony with each other’s notes and they call it lovemaking…Give me a heart so I can write a story of my own,” she pleads.
A male voice (please take away the “effect,” it makes dialogue difficult to understand) can’t comprehend his minion wants to go back to earth when she “can be anything here.” Not only will 90401 not be allowed that opportunity, but she’s about to be tried for insubordination. “It’s partly your fault,” the Muse counters pouting. She protests that yearning to inspire comedy her assignments have been to aid tragic art.
The character is stubborn, self-righteous, and entirely likeable. She thinks there’s far too much misfortune in the world and does what she can to turn at least the creative tide. Not only that, but she believes in women’s self empowerment, managing to slip those thoughts in where she can. An anomaly.
A jury ostensibly assembles. Muse90401 is instructed to justify exerted influences on her last three commissions. First, Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina), “I whispered that none of this was her fault… (because of sociological circumstances) she says. “We all deserve to be happy.” Then William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra), “How superficially Cleopatra is portrayed in the play. She was a smart, sophisticated woman.” (Methods by which she insinuates herself into the bard’s consciousness are marvelous.)
Lastly, Leonardo da Vinci with whom frustration became so great, the Muse jumped into his painting and turned up the corner’s of Mona Lisa’s mouth. “He immediately took his brush to me,” she says holding an empty frame around herself. The history of this painting as told by its subject. “He looked at me in a way no other human did,” ends with her face ignominiously being plastered on coffee mugs. 90401 defends herself citing successes with Vincent Van Gogh, Elvis Presley (?), and Albert Einstein. “Each human is my inspiration. One day they will remember the meaning of life…”
The piece ends with an exhilarating ballad that sings one day, “we’ll touch the sky,” an unnecessary cliché by this author clearly able to come up with something else.
Despite obvious talent, a considerable part of Fadik Sevin Atasoy’s monologue is muffled between speed and a very strong accent. While we know what she means to convey and hear intermittent clarifying phrases, this is a major performance issue. I would very much have liked to hear the well thought out particulars.
Composer/Accompanist- Emir Isilay adds symbiotic melody and mood to a piece with complicated requirements.
Photos courtesy of the production
United Solo presents Muse90401
Written and performed by Fadik Atasoy
Composer/Accompanist – Emir Isilay
United Solo, the World’s largest Solo Festival – for reasonably priced, widely varied one person shows.