The title of writer-actor Fielding Edlow's autobiographically based, one-woman-show, covers two areas of Sage Saperstein's (Edlow) life as it now stands, at 22 years. The first is Sage's abstinence; she is cocaine-free for 92 seemingly long, very crazed days. The second is attributed to her self-perceived social status or state of mind, that of being a JAP, better known as the colloquial acronym for Jewish American princess.
In this monologue/one-sided-dialogue presentation, Sage—besides making sailors blush with her colorful language—is preparing for, and then out on, her first date without the help of a pill, a pop, a toke, a swig, or a snort of anything. Unfortunately, true to form, Sage has made every possible preparation to be sure to sabotage the evening for herself with self-loathing, self-deprecation, unsolicited disclosure of sexual promiscuity, and general, unattractive female militancy. Then she tops it off with a generous helping of paranoid accusations mercilessly hurled at what seems to be a nice guy: her blind date, Robbie, who is never seen or heard.
This show, just under one hour, doesn't work on several levels. The newly clean and sober Sage should be allowed to be frenzied while getting straight, but Edlow's performance has got to be somewhat controlled. The actor spits out her vitriol—in rather vile language—a mile-a-minute in a shrieking mono-level with little care to comprehension or variance of intonation or emotion until the last five minutes, by which time it's too little, too late. We were never given a chance to even try to get to know and/or like Sage. Director Craig Carlisle might try to rein in the tirade a bit.
The action takes place at Sage's apartment, a restaurant, and the restaurant bathroom, with simple and attractive set designs by Jeff Robinson. Steve Altman's music and sound designs are appropriate.
"Coke-Free Jap," presented by Lemonade Productions at the McCadden Place Theatre, 1157 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. Fri.-Sat. 8 pm Jan. 7-Feb. 5. $15. (323) 960-4451.