Judith Light brings the words of Neil LaBute into stunning reality in the audio rendition of the solo play, All the Ways to Say I Love You. Through Audible you can enjoy a presentation of this show that touches on every possible emotion solely through Light’s vocal prowess. This piece engaged me from the first minute I began listening and I found myself so entranced by her performance that I was stunned when it drew to a close.
All the Ways to Say I Love You examines the life of a woman through the lens of her relationship with her husband and how she has attempted to maintain the security of their marriage in a way that many would see as inappropriate. Judith Light presents this woman’s story in such a beautiful way and she fully commits to the emotions that bubble up in connection to her character’s thoughts and deep seated fears. The play is Mrs. Johnson’s confession of an affair she had with an of age student during the period of time that she and her husband were attempting to become pregnant. While she professes her love for her husband she notes that they had begun to feel less emotionally connected and her inability to become pregnant, no matter what was truly hindering this effort, had created a gulf between them. When she meets a student who is in need of her help as a second year senior she indulges in a relationship, which she knows would be seen as inappropriate and in some cases illegal. Through her affair she hoped to ensure that she could achieve a way to keep her marriage together and fulfill what she felt she needed to do for her husband.
Beyond this discussion of an extramarital affair there is also an examination of race and gender politics that works so naturally within the piece. Light as Mrs. Johnson is exceptional; her commitment to the role and her ability to engage with the work gave me chills. She allows herself to show the moments of doubt and despair her character felt during the time that she was also experiencing true pleasure for the first time. The lies she has had to weave to keep her marriage together and make it what she believes it should be has led her to constantly feel shadowed by doubt. Even just listening to her performance is breathtaking. Audible also provides you with an interview with Judith Light about her life and All the Ways to Say I Love You. It provides a great deal of insight into the work and explains a great deal of what went into this work. You can find All The Ways to Say I Love You on Audible now.
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