The Capital Fringe Festival constantly reminds us that art and theater have no boundaries. AARP the Musical and Harriet 2.0 is another fine example of this. Part-performance art and part- speech class presentation, the show is a one-woman performance piece by the charming Heather Taylor, the self-dubbed “latebloomer” who finds meaning later in life in becoming a AARP job coach. Taylor shares the experiences that led her to this role as well as examples of sessions she had with counselees. She mixes in some visuals provided on a screen (including interviews with her impressive children) as well as some inspirational songs (e.g, Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Donny Hathaway’s “Song for You”) and sports a nice voice.
After a while, the show abruptly switches gears and becomes a tribute to Harriet Tubman, famed abolitionist and founder of the Underground Railroad. Tubman is a major personal idol for Taylor and the tribute is sweet. It would have been nice though to see the two very different parts of this work be tied together in a more creative manner.
The show is appealing, but here Taylor often read from a spiral notebook as if she is doing a run through of the material. But the unfinished quality of her work is compensated in part by her charm and eloquence. She is very likable and authoritative and easy to listen to. We hope that she will continue to push further the boundaries of performance art.
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