TAPPING MY WAY TO THE NUTHOUSE:
Samatha Simmonds-Ronceros: NoHo Arts District
Solo shows are always a revelation to me. The myriad of stories, characters, purpose, the masterful hilarity, epic truthfulness and the huge amount of talent that I have seen over the years never ceases to amaze me.
Lynne Jassem’s particular story is a fascinating one. A professional tap dancer at a very young age, performing regularly on the Perry Como Show, she became terribly ill and struggled with depression and mental illness, ending up in an asylum. Her struggles and her triumphs and her rare and beautiful way of seeing the world are at the heart of this show, as well as her experiences both in and out of the mental hospital.
It is her humor and her pragmatism that seems to have been her greatest asset and her source of strength throughout her life. She became aware that she was gay as a preteen in the sixties and this added to her difficulty in ‘fitting in,” although Ms Jassem seems to be to always be the most interesting person in any room at any time and delightfully so. She taps superbly, she mimes, she mimics each character in her story with expert ease and she advocates for her own vulnerabilities which magically evolve into her greatest strengths.
The show is sprinkled liberally with mixed media images and some rather wonderful and ancient video of her at various stages of her life. This adds so much to the play, making real her anecdotes and her heartrending life story. This play is touching and moving and thoroughly entertaining. Ms Jassem taps and dances and mimes as she shares her self with us. This gives the whole performance a remarkable sense of magical realism and whimsy in a profoundly ‘sane’ way.
“Tapping my Way To The Nuthouse” is one of the most gorgeous solo shows I have had the pleasure of seeing. The best solo shows are always the most simple, the most effortless and the most intensely and utterly the property of the performer. This play is definitively “Lynne Jassem” and a gift to us all. Bravo!
Valerie-Jean Miller and Broadway World LA
"A heartfelt & very unique journey...and she tells it with honesty, compassion and wit...very engaging"
FROM COMO TO HOMO:
The Daily Record
“…part memoir, part impressions, part tap, part mime - it's a delight from start to finish.” (John Dingwall 8/12/16)
"This is a highly theatrical show evidencing decades of stagecraft. Jassem sings, tap dances and acts; you get your money’s worth. And it’s a cathartic experience…” (Brett Mills 8/22/16)
"You don’t often get a chance to see a woman in her 70’s throwing herself into a synchronised tap routine with her male alter ego. So, grasp it while you can…Jassem succeeds in painting her recollections vividly through evocative mime, characters, songs and dance.” (Craig Naples 8/19/16)
“Given the amount of animation and energy Lynne Jassem shows on stage in From Como to Homo, it’s hard to imagine how much she must have had six decades ago…In this dynamic memoir Jassem looks back on a colorful childhood…Jassem delivers it well, along with some cracking tap routines, mime work and a real sende of anxiety around the issues of identity she grapples with. There’s a sweet finale as well.” (Ben Walters 8/26/16)
“…Jassem tells her story about the pressures of being a child performer, along with the struggles of gender confusion and homosexuality. She is old-school showbiz to the core and serves up theatrical storytelling, mime, songs and some impressively nimble tap dancing… It’s a charmingly open and honest account of negotiating fame and identity…” (Daisy Malt 8/21/16)