Wednesday, January 23, 2019

"Message in a Bottle" - When love hurts

By Byrne Harrison

Many solo shows have more than a whiff of the psychiatrist's couch about them.  And since much art springs from the struggles of the artists, that can be expected.  The difficult part is walking that line between therapy and performance to create something engaging and entertaining.

Michelle Drozdick's solo show, Message in a Bottle, walks that line quite neatly by giving voice to the struggles and victories that Drozdick faced dealing with alcohol addiction, while also creating a surprisingly humorous piece of theatre that equates alcoholism with an abusive relationship.

Drozdick's addiction is given (somewhat) human form in the guise of Tito, a bottle of vodka with googly eyes, a tie, and arms made from plastic forks.  We see Drozdick's relationship with Tito from first date, full of fun and flirting, to break up--watching as Tito becomes possessive and jealous, separates Drozdick from her family and friends, inserts himself in all aspects of her life, eventually forcing her out of her job so she can spend all her time with him.

Much of the humor in this piece springs from watching Drozdick interact with a bottle of vodka as though it were a human being, which Drozdick handles very well.  But the humor in the scenes belies the serious message of succumbing to and learning to manage her addiction. The result is a fun and moving show that resonates with the audience.

Message in a Bottle runs about 40 minutes, just about the right length of time.  The show never feels rushed or unnecessarily drawn out.

Message in a Bottle has its final show on Sunday, January 27th at 6 PM at The PIT (123 E. 24th Street).

Message in a Bottle
Written and performed by Michelle Drozdick
Directed by Adrian Sexton
Photo by Giancarlo Osaben