In “Wrap Your Heart Around It,” Nashville singer-songwriter and accordionist LynnMarie Rink lays out her life lessons with abundant humor and heroic honesty. Before this stunning solo confessional has ended, we’re not only at one with Rink, we’re ready to take up the accordion ourselves.
A five-time Grammy nominee in the polka category, Rink is certainly a virtuoso on “the Box.” Her demonstration of how to turn any song into something Myron Floren would recognize typifies Rink’s fertile wit, while her renditions of Slovenian folk tunes and her own well-crafted songs have a touching directness.
Because what makes “Wrap Your Heart” a remarkable achievement is how effortlessly Rink connects with us while sharing a biographical account that is potently universal for being pointedly specific. The psychological and emotional baggage left by an alcoholic father, detached mother and addicted siblings forms the core, religious and marital conflicts and the show-biz grind are the engine.
And when Rink arrives at her pinnacle challenge -- how can I parent a special-needs child? -- well, prepare to laugh through your tears.
Director Michael Kearns, no slouch at solo performance himself, stewards this born storyteller with calm expertise. Technical credits are solid, especially Jeff McLaughlin’s showroom-inflected set and Luke Moyer’s emotionally attuned lighting, and the band -- music director Paul Carrol Binkley, Paul Cartwright, Joey Ayoub and Chris Steele -- is utterly winning.
That goes double for Rink, whose unforced warmth and affecting candor amounts to a one-woman love bomb. Perhaps not since Mona Golabek’s “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” has Los Angeles witnessed so genuinely inspirational a personal memoir. I dare you not to wrap your heart around it.
“Wrap Your Heart Around It,” Falcon Theatre, 4252 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Ends Aug. 11. (818) 955-8101 or www.falcontheatre.com. Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.