MANNEQUIN is a musical dramedy about Olive, an elderly Jewish shopkeeper of a defunct fur store, and Patti, a young teen new to Philadelphia. Together they escape into memories of other eras, their imaginations, and magical realism to find terrain where they forge a bond and find their true selves. Amidst the backdrop of 2019-2020, they navigate the rise of hate and anti-semitism, while the mannequins serve as a playful Greek chorus and urgent conscience for our time. The solo performance features Jennifer Blaine, “a master of voices and characters who uses that gift to explore social phenomena to sometimes poignant, always comedic effect,” (City Paper) and is directed by Obie-award-winning solo performance genius Heather Woodbury. Blaine plays 14 human and mannequin characters in this Zoom performance which asks the audience whether being witness to history is enough, or do we need to act to face the challenges of our time. Will we be mannequins or partake in the journey to actualize ourselves? Won’t you join us for this remarkable evening? Music and Book By Jennifer Blaine, *Accompaniment By Andrew Mullin, with one by Nick Davio, and one by Steven Crino, Musical recordings by Clayton Matthews, Steven Crino, Nick Davio, and Jonny Stax.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
JENNIFER BLAINE has been performing one-woman shows for 28 years. Her original writing, performing, and comedy delve into serious and socially relevant issues and provides audiences the opportunity to unite in laughter. Jennifer has opened for George Carlin and according to the Philadelphia Daily News “her comic genius is like Lily Tomlin and Tracey Ullman.” Jennifer was the resident Theatre Teaching Artist at the Showstoppers program at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts from 2013-2018 in which she created four original plays on topical issues from bullying to civil rights. She produced the “5,000 Women” festival, showcasing women artists and social activists, at The Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University in 2011 and 2012 and in Philadelphia in 2014. Some of her 18 FringeArts solo works include Sorry (why women can’t stop apologizing for their existence), White Flight, Hearing Voices, and Ridiculous. Her play Dirty Joke, about women activists (directed by Vashti Dubois, founder of The Colored Girls Museum), was featured at PIFA, and was showcased at The Annenberg Center for the Arts as part of the By Local series. A Jennifer Story (2022) is currently on Philly Cam. The Vicissitudes of Travel, which depicts a family traveling through brain surgery is performed in art galleries, museums, theatres, Wesleyan University in the 2019-2020 academic year, and at Jefferson Medical College which brought together medical staff and the general public to dialogue about loss and illness. Jennifer has most recently written a musical Mannequin, about a defunct fur store in South Philly, its elderly Jewish owner, a teenager, a mafioso, and a political activist, which explores whether we can truly be inclusive, despite the rise of intolerance and white nationalism since 2016.
September 21, 120 min. duration, $20