Jermyn Street Theatre (venue)
06 July 2020 (released)
19 July 2018
It was 1978 when the off-Broadway musical I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road opened, and today it is more relevant than ever.
Heather Jones (Landi Oshinowo) is making a comeback with a brand new show. At 39 she has realised that she will not accept the crowd-pleasing stereotype of sex kitten as she takes on her new woman identity by including her personal journey in her music.
As the band prepares for the opening night her manager, Joe (Nicolas Colicos), gets to the rehearsals expecting to find the comfort of her old image and her traditional love songs.
Enraged by the changes he bluntly tells her that nobody will appreciate her as this new woman, especially as she’s getting older.
As fierce and honest as anyone can be Heather proves that she will not stop looking for her identity and she will not be anyone’s definition of woman, mother, daughter and wife. She will become what she has waited a lifetime to be, a woman who does not accept to be treated as an object of pleasure of any kind, an empowered human being who owns her life.
The show’s highlight, in my opinion, was Miss America, an unglamorous and ironic portrait of the American housewife raised between one beauty contest and the other and married to someone who constantly leaves her alone as she finds comfort in the TV, alcohol and pills. The song was brilliantly performed and emotionally charged. The Strong Woman Number was also brilliant and the exceptional talent of the band and cast really reached the audience’s hearts.
In a world that is increasingly concerned with public image and the exploitation of the female body Heather’s fight is not over. Seeing I’m Getting My Act Together today also shows the influence of women like Heather in works such as Beyoncè’s conceptual album Lemonade in which she experiences a similar journey in the discovery of what it means to be a woman.
Heather does not compromises, she brings the topics of love, gender, age and relationships to the forefront, she does not give up and nor shouldn’t we.