Yet Another Too-Examined Life


An Open Letter to All Those Considering Writing/Performing a One-Person Show: Just because it happened to you doesn't mean it's interesting. So unless you've got something truly extraordinary to say and/or an artful way of saying it, please don't make a solo performance about your life.

Take "Matteson's Avenue" at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, for example. Now, there's a good case of a woman, Matteson, who's not without stage presence, but who certainly was without presence of mind when she got the idea to join the already overcrowded ranks of solo performers.

It takes more than autobiographical mush--especially the liberal-white-guilt variety, where you rattle on about the childhood scars left by your racist Southern upbringing--to make decent theater. Such confessional drivel ought to be saved for the shrink's couch.

*"Matteson's Avenue," Beverly Hills Playhouse, 254 S. Robertson, Beverly Hills, Fridays-Saturdays, 8 p.m., Sundays 2 and 7 p.m. Ends June 6. $9-$15. (213) 660-8587. Running time: 1 hour, 10 minutes.

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