By Paige Louter
Published July 19, 2015
Alyson Parovel is a remarkable artist. The playwright, director, and performer of Always Unique, Totally Interesting, Sometimes Mysterious has created a professional, sensitive, and honest portrayal of what it is like to live with autism.
One of the best things live theatre can do is enable audiences to empathize with a marginalized group, and Parovel has done just that. It is clear that Parovel understands the potential dangers of speaking on behalf of someone who is neurodivergent.
She has worked hard to develop an authentic vocal and physical vocabulary with which to bring her character Chloe to life, and while she is sweet and endearing, she never veers into sentimentality. Her portrayals of sensory and emotional overload, for example, are particularly heartbreaking in their accuracy.
Paula Wing, as Chloe's mother, also deserves praise. Her performance is simple and effective, and appropriately un-theatrical.
Always Unique is a polished piece of theatre with timely and important content, and a deep emotional impact. This show is not to be missed.
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