SOLID CITIZEN, at the Neo-Futurarium. “I’m numb to this,” a grand jury member says in response to the testimony of a young sexual abuse victim. But Lisa Buscani’s character really isn’t–and neither are we, thanks to the power of this writer-performer’s storytelling. Her five monologues, linked by each character’s desire to help others, are so intimately detailed, poetically penned, and intensely delivered that we can’t keep our distance. Buscani also takes us into a room filled with babies under state custody, onto a subway train where a man is punching his female companion, into a friendship strained by a dissolving marriage, and to an abortion clinic surrounded by protesters. Though obviously engaged in each journey, she’s also distant enough to provide carefully crafted observations, and the heroes and villains in each piece shift.
On opening night Buscani occasionally stumbled on some of her more slamlike rhythms, but otherwise this solo performance is stellar. In stories that make both a personal and a political point, she lets us feel her blistering rage as well as her bleeding heart. It’s a good thing the show is not much more than an hour–if it were any longer, this penetrating look at life’s small- and large-scale tragedies would be exhausting.