Theatre Review: ‘Let Me Down Easy,’ At The Suzanne Roberts

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(Anna Deavere Smith in her one-woman play, "Let Me Down Easy," at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in Philadelphia.  Photo provided)

(Anna Deavere Smith in her one-woman play, “Let Me Down Easy,” at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in Philadelphia. Photo provided)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The Philadelphia Theatre Company is presenting a one-woman show conceived, written, and performed by playwright-actor-academician Anna Deavere Smith — a show that started with considerable research and may leave its audience with a few surprises.

“Let Me Down Easy” is an electrifying performance by this seasoned actress whose face is familiar from a number of roles on stage and screen (big and small), but whose creative genius really shines with her examination of an early study at the Yale School of Medicine.

The show offers twenty character studies, many reflecting personal examinations of death and terminal illness.  The inescapable debate over health care reform is paramount here.

“Let Me Down Easy” offers a number of studies originating with a variety of technical experts, although one observer commented that the twenty profiles are well displayed but occasionally trivial in content.

No question: Anna Deavere Smith  offers thought-provoking and occasionally humorous material.  Her show runs through April 10th at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad Street (Broad and Lombard), in center city Philadelphia.

Reviewed by Bob Nelson, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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