How sensational does a writer have to be in order to attract attention and become a best seller? How far can the truth be stretched before the public catches on and if they do, how will they handle it or will they want more? These question provide the basis of a new comedy that opened on Aug. 22 from the New Jersey Repertory Company titled “Nobody’s Girl.” It is a play that explores how the exploitation of the truth, when done well, can allow a total unknown to rise to the heights of popularity and fame and fool everyone around her. Well, fool them at least for awhile.
The audience gets clued in to the scam that is being spun very early on in the play. It is important that they do because watching it pick up speed and then unravel is the basis of the conflict. The person in question is Nita Saleem who changes into a character named Currah. Currah is supposed to be a young Muslim woman living in America who has written a book about her life. She hints that something happened in the basement with her father but the first draft of the manuscript leaves it at that. Agent Ronnie Lowe is entranced with the work and with Currah when they meet. She convinces Currah to “beef up” the section about the basement which she does and the book takes off.
Also in the picture is Anthony Donnally who poses as Currah’s guardian. He “reluctantly” agrees to sign the very lucrative contract Ronnie Lowe has drawn up for the book and sits back as Currah enjoys her growing fame. Tyrell Parks is Ronnie Lowe’s assistant who helps with all the glitz and is awestruck by Currah’s courage to disclose what seems to be the truth but in reality is not.
To give any more details about the story would ruin some of the twists and turns that audiences are certain to find interesting and intriguing. The characters move around, in, and out of the story as they help to establish what is true and what is not. Layal Khoshnoudi is very convincing as she plays Nita Saleem who changes into Currah and becomes obsessed with success and all its rewards. Nita enjoys the lifestyle Currah has obtained and bitterly resents the truth of who she really is. Jacob A. Ware plays Anthony Donnally with just the right amount of shiftiness needed to show a man who has been through a lot of rejection in his life. He concocts the idea which sets the lies into motion and then gets jealous along the way of the attention Currah is receiving rather than him. Ronnie Lowe is played by Judith Hawking with loads of flashiness critical to someone trying to get clients to believe in her. Her ability to convince and connive is so believable that one just can’t image what she will come up with next. Gregory Haney plays Tyrell Parks. His style and demeanor make him a character you cannot take your eyes off of but then he provides one of the biggest surprises of the show as a side of him surfaces in an attempt to salvage the real truth.
Directed by Erica Gould, “Nobody’s Girl” was written by Australian playwright Rick Viede. When discussing the play in a recent interview with BroadwayWorld.com, Mr. Viede said “Does the truth matter? Or is it more important to ‘feel’ true. The play is really a satire of that.”
“Nobody’s Girl” will run at the New Jersey Repertory Company, 179 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ through Sept. 20, 2015. Regular Performance Schedule includes Thursdays and Fridays 8 p.m.; Saturdays 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased by calling 732-229-3166 or at www.njrep.org.