At age 77, D’yan Forest is a true original. Her one-woman confessional monologue features risqué-yet-homey comedy, the plucking of heartstrings, the plucking of actual strings – she has a lovely singing voice and accompanies herself on ukelele – and, most of all, stories. Especially stories about sex.
As it’s recounted here, in this one-woman production co-written and directed by Stephen Jobes, Forest’s life has been characterized by a restlessness not entirely of her own choosing. The central relationship is with an ex-nun who was the love of her life for a quarter century, and then suddenly was not. Our protagonist’s peripatetic way through an eventful life took her all over the world, but her affinity for languages and her special love for Paris provided her, and through her, provide us, with funny and sometimes startling vignettes of the sex-club underbelly of that endlessly charming city.
The core of the show lies not in specific stories or characters but in the central point Forest makes about not pegging people into categories based on appearance, sex, or age. She expresses this explicitly but its real effectiveness lies in the way she proves it by inducing us to get to know her to the extent that the novelty of a woman in her 70s recounting sexual escapades wears entirely off, until we perceive her as a many-faceted human being not defined by age, sexual orientation, or any other particular characteristic. All this takes places in the context of a colorfully entertaining monologue sprinkled with a pinch of pathos, a bag of naughty props, and a few well-chosen songs.
I Married a Nun ran as part of the NYC Frigid Festival. She’s taking the show on the road to Phoenix, AZ for that city’s Frigid event in the coming days, then appears again in NYC on March 15 at the Tada! Theatre as part of the One Woman Standing segment of the Emerging Artists Theatre‘s New Work Series.