By Andrew Andrews

Playwright and actor Hope Salas tells the story of three women in HOPE, a new drama about women’s voices and choices at The Wild Project in Alphabet City. Original photo by Pascal Perich.

“Where to begin?”

We don’t usually like to catch (or review) one-person shows, because so much rests on that single performer.

Sure, we’ve enjoyed a solo production here and there, such as Shakespeare’s Will and The Mushroom Cure. But just as “no man is an island,” it’s difficult for a single actor to deliver a show that’s worthy of our highest rating—especially when that actor is also the playwright.

That said: if you’re looking for a five-star show from a sole performer, there’s Hope.

Hope Salas, that is, and her one-woman show, HOPE, now captivating audience members like us at The Wild Project.

In a few words, Hope’s show tells the story of three woman: herself, her mother Alice, and a woman named Rose who saved Alice from familial sexual abuse.

But those few words don’t begin to convey what makes this a five-star show.

So let’s try adding a few more:

Intense, relentless anxiety.

Awkwardly-funny, quirky humor.

Music and sound effects (Yiannis Christofides) that will adjust the rhythm of your pulse and take over control of your heartbeat.

Lighting (Yuki Nakase) that changes your mood at the drop of a hat or the raising of an eyebrow.

Cartoon-like gestures. Animatronic gestures.

Video projections (Gil Sperling) that switch from setting the scene to altering your viewpoint to presenting a divergent reality.

A sublimely simple, surreal set (Marsha Ginsberg) that oozes sterility and provides delightfully surprising ways to change the props or scene.

Movements, voices and mannerisms that perfectly convey our human imperfections.

That, folks, is how a single playwright/actor, with a talented team working behind-the-scenes under an expert director (Erika Latta), can put on a show that unquestionably earns every one of the five stars we’re giving it.

Don’t believe us? Or even if you do... see for yourself, then come back here and tell us how many stars you feel HOPE deserves!

You can even write your own review, if you think that ours is overzealous, or not zealous enough!

Your review will help others decide whether this production is hopeful or hopeless, and your ratings help us help you find future events you’re sure to love!


Andrew Andrews attended HOPE at Wild Project in Manhattan on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 @ 8:00pm to write this review.