The Night Watcher
The Night Watcher – Theater Review
Simultaneously a best friend, advisor, confidant and sage to the many young people who call her ‘Auntie,’ Charlayne Woodard is childless only by biological standards. Woodard weaves together stories of the ordinary and extraordinary ways she’s mentored the children in her life. A look at the alternative definition of being a parent.
The Night Watcher is a one-woman show with Charlayne Woodard whom I had actually seen before in Pretty Fire, which was also a one-woman show that looked at the riots in Los Angeles. I thought this one was much better. She plays all the parts, but this one is more sort of a monologue where she — like if I would say to somebody, and my mother said, Joy, in a different voice. So, it is more that kind of storytelling than Pretty Fire. My complaint about it, if there is a complaint, is it was too long and it got redundant. A one-person show I think 90 minutes is fine. And this was two hours with a 20 minute intermission. I think it would have worked better if she had edited a little bit. I know that the one-woman show is a lot of work, and she might have needed to catch her breath. But still, I think theatrically it would have worked better as a 90 minute and a little bit shorter. She is quiet lovely. She talks about essentially being childless, which is a real phenomenon especially as a black woman, and it is a very interesting theatre piece, very evocative, and she is quite wonderful. Four stars.