This Neil Shurley article was originally published by Broadway World on October 1st, 2020.
I’m not sure I’ve ever had a more difficult review to write.
How do I describe an experience that was full of delight and positive interactions and was equal parts calming, spiritual, and laugh-out-loud funny and featured content that, well, I don’t want to describe because I don’t want to spoil it. Part of the joy of the show is the discovery of the show. Which may not make sense as a sentence on its own, but after you see it, I think you’ll understand.
And I want you to see it. I encourage you to see it.
And the good news is, you can. No matter where you are, no matter where you live, you can experience OBJECTIVITY. This is the Warehouse Theatre in Your House. And you will be glad you invited them in.
OBJECTIVITY – from Clutter to Clarity with Mary del Campo – is a virtual seminar, hosted over Zoom. Jessica Eckenrod Cherry stars as “tidying consultant” Mary del Campo – think Marie Kondo meets Martha Stewart with a dash of the Barefoot Contessa and Gwyneth Paltrow also in the mix. She wants you to feel good about yourself and your stuff and also wants your stuff to feel good.
Participants – limited to 25 per show – are encouraged to bring a single object with them, something that hasn’t been used in at least six months. Something that you’re having trouble parting with even though you know you should. In a very friendly, non-threatening way, Mary uses Zoom’s chat feature as well as one-on-one video interactions to discover what objects participants have brought along and, more importantly, the feelings those objects generate. And through a series of questions and answers and guided meditations, she helps participants think through their attachments. You can, of course, choose not to participate, to only watch. Or you can choose to just use the chat feature and not literally speak. So if you’re one of those folks who dread getting picked from the audience, don’t worry.
It begins with soothing spa-like music and a deliberately New Age-y feel (“introducing yourself is the first step to knowing yourself, and knowing yourself is the first step to knowing your needs”) and slowly morphs into something just a little bit more. And that’s where I’ll stop and let you converse with your own object and inner feeling.
OBJECTIVITY is created and written by Mister & Mischief aka Jeff and Andy Crocker, a husband and wife duo based in LA. Andy Crocker directs and, importantly, Breanna Strife stage manages. Or, to be more accurate, acts as a Zoom DJ (ZJ?), helping manage what we see during the show. And if you’re technology shy, don’t worry. Everything you need to know to navigate Zoom will be pointed out to you.
How do you see or evaluate the hand of the director in a Zoom conference call? I sure don’t know, but whatever Andy Crocker did worked, because the whole thing comes off beautifully. Jessica Eckenrod Cherry perfectly channels the energy and presence of a bestselling lifestyle guru. And considering the difficulty of doing it all – from rehearsals to performance – virtually, well, Cherry earns bonus points for coming off so well, ably assisted by ZJ Breanna Strife. Additional kudos go to Bill Larkin who provided music and additional lyrics. Larkin’s contribution almost seems miraculous and adds untold value to the experience.
But here’s my advice. Don’t think about any of that. Just buy a ticket, choose an object, make a cup of tea, find a comfortable place to sit with your Zoom-capable device, and let yourself be enveloped in the abundance of love Mary del Campo has to share with you. It will be the best Zoom call you’ve had yet.
The Warehouse Theatre’s OBJECTIVITY runs through October 17th. Each seminar is limited to 25 participants and tickets are $25.
Run time is approximately 1 hour.