First, let me dispense with the pleasantries. There are two things you need to take out of The Story of O’s.
One: I have, in the past favourably likened Tonya Jone Miller to Spalding Grey in terms of format and delivery. The truth is, I believe she is one of the most unique, challenging, and talented monologists since Mr. Grey battled his Monster in a Box.
Two: You must see this show. Period. You will be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t.
The Story of O’s is, on the surface, a story of Miller’s career as a phone sex operator. But is so much more than that.
Miller serves to take the disembodied voice on the end of a phone line and explore the humanity behind it. She explores not just the needs, desires, and motivations of her clients, but to both literally and figuratively lay bare her body and soul.
Miller’s greatest talent is that she’s able to expose herself in a workplace where you spend much of your time being someone else. That gift of self expression is only matched by her expertise in spoken word. Her timing, pace, and body language is impeccable. Guided by only her reactions and perfect timing, the audience is immersed to the point where they can actually “hear” the other side — the unspoken side — of the conversation.
The Story of O’s is at times funny, at times heart-wrenchingly poignant. It is supremely sexy and it is uncomfortable. It is a story about our need for acceptance and the need to feel. It is about finding out who we are. It is a story about searching for someone who understands and accepts us for who we are.
And it is, above all else, perfect.
This opening weekend review has been posted on behalf of Theatre in London.ca (http://theatreinlondon.ca/).