Off-Broadway’s ‘All the Natalie Portmans’ Showed the Power and Limitations of On-Screen Identification
Posted on Sunday, March 29th, 2020 by Marshall Shaffer
After an extension by the MCC Theater off-Broadway, the COVID-19 outbreak forced the early closing of C.A. Johnson’s All the Natalie Portmans. That’s over two weeks of audiences who didn’t get to experience this production in its original form, which is a real shame. But as the virus forced New Yorkers and other entertainment-seeking visitors in the city out of public spaces, it moved them closer to more intimate forms of consuming entertainment – and quite proximate to the scenario of the play’s protagonist, Keyonna (Kara Young).
I recognize elements of her life because I lived many of them myself. As a 16-year-old in the year 2009 (yes, we’re even the exact same age), we didn’t have too much trouble with the classwork part of school but struggled to relate with other people. Instead, we found solace and comfort inside DVD boxes, learning empathy and connectivity through movie characters on our TV sets.