There is something about Victoria Libertore’s one-woman show No Need For Seduction that strikes you. Perhaps it’s Libertore’s candid storytelling style. Or perhaps it’s the dark cloud that gradually creeps its way in to shadow the narrative. Whatever the reason, it stays with you, and I think that is exactly the point.
Libertore weaves an intimate, autobiographical tale about a trip to Bali with her girlfriend; a trip that would bring many unspoken desires and insecurities to light. The show may focus on her relationship and fear of commitment, but soon enough, a deeper storyline of familial tensions bubbles to the surface. Libertore is a very capable storyteller, and the monologue format suits her well. There are times where you feel as if you are a guest at a fantastical dinner party, listening to her sweeping tale.
The narrative, however, is stylistically repetitive in nature, and tends to run long. The show itself might work better if it was streamlined, and the running time cut down to under an hour. On opening night, Libertore seemed low on energy during the first half of the show, with some of her jokes missing their beats. This is certainly forgivable, especially since the dynamic of each audience can shape a show as intimate as No Need For Seduction. Our audience warmed up as the actress did, and soon enough, the laughter came easily and often.
A one-woman show is a brave and challenging undertaking indeed. Thankfully, The Dixon Place Theatre is dedicated to producing original works just like this, giving them a chance to grow and develop. Overall, No Need for Seduction is a compelling piece that has the potential to really shine. It has moments of touching sincerity, and Libertore will have you laughing even in the show’s darker moments. For all of Bali’s beauty scenery, which Libertore so eloquently describes throughout, it is the human side of her story that transports you.
No Need for Seduction is written and performed by Victoria Libertore. Directed by Leigh Fondakowski. Now playing; final shows are May 24 & 25 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door, and $12 for students and seniors. Click here to purchase online.