The O-town Scene

March 03, 2011

The O-town Scene - Oneonta, NY

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Award-winning ‘Beauty Shop’ to come to Roxbury Have you ever thought of the beauty shop as more of a parlor than a place where women go to get a haircut? Actress Faye Lane did more than that. As a chubby and sweet little girl growing up in her mama’s beauty salon in Texas, Lane imagined that the beauty shop’s floor was her stage, and the ladies sitting quietly under the hood dryers were her audience. Lane would grab a hairbrush to use as a microphone, and then start singing songs that she heard on the radio or at church. The ladies in the audience, sometimes delighted and sometimes unconvinced, would hand her a couple of banana MoonPies, her childhood favorite dessert. The little girl from Texas went to London, Los Angeles and New York to study voice and drama, and replaced the hairbrush with a real microphone. Instead of performing in front of eight ladies sitting under the dryers, now Faye Lane performs in front of hundreds, and sometimes thou- sands, of people. Faye Lane is many things _ a talented singer, a beautiful actress, a comedienne _ but above all she is an exquisite storyteller. In 2007, she won the Moth StorySlam award in New York, and in 2008 she won it in Los Angeles, being the only storyteller to have won this prestigious award on both coasts. The Moth StorySlam is an acclaimed storytelling com- petition held in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit, giving voice to hundreds of storytellers from all walks of life. Lane won the Moth StorySlam awards with autobiographical stories, inspired by her childhood in Texas, when she was performing in her mother’s beauty shop and dreaming of becoming a star. ‘We all have the same stories, just with different details.’ _ Faye Lane Encouraged by these awards, Lane put together a show, blending storytelling, humor and songs, sometimes funny, sometimes emotional, but overall reflective and uplifting. And she won the Fringe NYC overall excellence award for solo performance with it. The critics’ response was overwhelming. NY- wrote about Lane’s performance, “The audience left in high spirits, with bouncy music still ringing out, the very definition of lighthearted _ Lane’s mission seemed accomplished.” Maggie Cullen, program director at the Roxbury Arts Group, saw the show at the Fringe Festival last year in Au- gust, and loved it. Cullen has known Lane for many years, and describes her perfor- mance with great affection. “Lane was absolutely charming, very sweet; she had a good sense of humor,” Cullen said. “The way she holds herself and everything, she’s got kind of Marilyn Monroe look. She’s just a lot of fun.” It was Cullen’s idea to bring the “Beauty Shop Stories” to Roxbury, after a casual chat with Jay Rogers, the director of the show, who is also a long-time friend of Cullen’s. “You get the American Dream feel, very prevalent in Lane’s storytelling,” Cullen said. Lane will perform her stories at the Roxbury Arts Center on Main Street in Roxbury at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12. For Lane “the heart of the show” is a song by Carol Hall, called “The Bus from Amarillo.” “It’s the story of a woman who grew up in a small town in Texas, and got on a bus hoping to go find her fortune and create a life for herself; and she got scared, and she 18 O-Town Scene March 3, 2011 Contributed Acclaimed storyteller and actress Faye Lane, above right, will perform her award-winning one-person show, ‘Beauty Shop Stories,’ at the Roxbury Arts Center on Main Street in Roxbury at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12. got off the bus. She ended up never following her dream,” Lane said. “That hasn’t been my experience, because, thank God, I stayed on the bus.” Most of the songs are written by Keith Thompson, who is also from the South. Lane explained the concept of the show: “What I love about storytelling, although we all have such specific stories _ and probably no one in my New York City audience grew up in a beauty shop _ is that these are universal themes. Everybody had a time when they were teased, everybody left home at some point, everybody falls in love, everybody has moments of crushing disappointments; even if the specifics of the story are different, these are universal themes. That’s why I think the story is so powerful. It just resonates with people because we all have the same stories, just with different details.” Asked how she feels about being awarded for her storytell- ing performance, Lane said: “They mean the world to me, really, especially the Moth because I think the Moth was life changing for me. It is an organization that started similarly to the way I started at the beauty shop. And it was the first time I had the opportunity in New York City to just tell a true story on the stage in front of a lot of people. That really planted the seeds for this show.” But a hug at the end of the show is all she needs, she said, which she gets a lot of. _ Simona David For ticket information, call 326-7908.

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