Deconstructing Holly

Critics

LemonMeter

Reviews: 2

Audience

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 6

What happens when everything you’re told makes you a woman is taken away?

That is the question Holly was faced with after she lost all her biological lady parts due to breast cancer and the BRCA ovarian cancer gene mutation. So, what else to do but turn that exploration into a solo show!?

While undergoing cancer surgery, Holly is led on an eye-opening journey of relationships past, present, and future… by a cheeky British angel, no less. With humor and raw honesty, she embodies a cast of over 20 characters who have come and gone in her life, leaving their footprints on her soul. Along the way, she is forced to tear apart, piece by piece, her beliefs, her sense of physical self, and the crushing gender expectations and pressures society can inflict. Because sometimes, we have to be completely deconstructed in order to find our way to who we truly are… and the love we so desperately seek.

Written and Performed by Holly Sidell
Directed by Jonathan Fahn
www.deconstructingholly.com

 

 

Reviews

In Deconstructing Holly, she recounts her surgeries, “facing the loss of all the biological organs that deem one a woman,” and seeing her lifelong dream of motherhood being stolen from her with both honesty and humor and under Jonathan Fahn’s direction shows herself to an be exceedingly engaging presence on stage.

sweet - Ernest Kearney- The TVolution - ...read full review


Deconstructing Holly, represents one of an explosion of really well-crafted, well-performed solo shows over the last couple of years in Los Angeles live theatre. It nicely combines both focus and genuine drama in ways worthy of praise.

I'm going to start with one criticism, which is pretty much the only one on offer. Just to get it out of the way. The entire ebb and flow of the writing remains very much "on the nose." Each revelation this character goes through (a refreshing if a bit daunting multitude) is faced in the abstract, we are given a tiny speech, and voila Holly has learned her lesson. Frankly, this does not seem very human to me. It feels more like a cliffnotes version of her growing up with both gender and body issues, rather any kind of a journey. A lot of issues were brought up, then dropped, or glossed over.

Having said that, What is right in this show works extraordinarily well. Me, I'm a man, so I tend to face a different (sometimes related) set of issues and expectations, yet without a doubt the feelings Holly go through resonated. An entertaining delivery coupled with genuine heart, genuine pain, accomplishes much. It certainly did here. Our one character we follow began life with false expectations, a low sense of self worth, and a definition of self too shallow to work for long. Escaping from all that in an effort to find Love and become a Mother has within it several paradoxes Holly explores in ways which ultimately hurt. Her pain is one we recognize. I could feel it from the audience, but also in myself quite vividly.

Probably the strongest part was when she all-but-screamed, Job-like, at the unfairness of it all. She had spent years reshaping herself into a better person, a wiser person, a stronger one--yet in the end her "reward" was to be alone, betrayed, her body surgically altered into something that no longer feels like her, rendering her infertile as well as even more self-conscious about her appearance! It is WRONG. It is UNFAIR. It should NOT happen!

But it did. And facing that, then going forward, takes a lot. Holly honored us by sharing the power and (yes) the glory of that effort.

sweet - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Brutally honest, funny, entertaining, raw and emotional, Holly Sidell tells her life changing story in the bravest of ways. All actors and writers should tell stories with this level of truth.

While I have always been a fan of Holly's as a performer, director Jonathan Fahn propels her work -- and I hope they cling to this partnership for plays to come.

The writing is crisp and compelling, and Holly has put herself into the league of the top solo shows in town.

Must see.

sweet - Akira Nakano


Deconstructing Holly speaks to all of us on so many levels. It’s a dynamic production in loving service to love. Bravo to the artists involved in crafting this compelling and entertaining story!

sweet - Maria Pavone


Though you’d NEVER know it from hanging out or working with her, Holly has been through some pretty traumatic experiences. She unveils all in this brilliant 1-woman show where she lays her heart (and every body part she has lost) out on the table. Her story is woven beautifully as she bounces between playing herself, her “guide” Nigella, her doctors, schoolmates and many of the men she has dated. While it is a heart-warming, autobiographical play of one woman’s road to self love & acceptance, her journey is a relatable reminder of the unrealistic expectations we place upon ourselves and the unnecessary and often unhealthy compromises we seem willing to make in an effort to please others.

Holly Sidell gives the performance of her lifetime (literally), beautifully directed by Jonathan Fahn. The subject matter is mature, but the show never gets too bogged down or heavy while still honoring the full weight of the material. I HIGHLY recommend getting yourself out to the theater to witness this brave piece of beautiful storytelling.

sweet - Corey


A One-Woman Show: Holly & her story and performance is phenomenal! She is so sweet, soft, sexy, cute, clever, creative, beautiful, wonderful, likable and lovable with such talent, grace, style and a gift for writing & acting - a natural born ⭐️ made for the stage and in front of the camera! Her womanhood and femininity is rooted so deep, strong, intense and powerful that it stems through her very being as she simultaneously embodies, transcends and exudes it with and beyond her body while it blossoms and blooms at the level of her energy, soul, spirit, heart and mind like a magnificent flower!! She is very inspirational and worthy of so much respect, love, admiration and appreciation! Thank you for being YOU, for your contribution to society and for making this world a better, brighter, more beautiful place!! Don’t give, always hold onto hope and have faith that you will continue to rise and prevail! You deserve nothing but the best, a standing ovation, a five star plus review and her Highest Good!! I will keep you in my prayers...
Bravo!

✨💃🏻🌟🌎🎭💕✨🎟 👏🏻💖😎

sweet - Julianna


I’ve been a big fan of Sidell’s work as an actress, and her Huffington Post articles, over the years, but this show was still a revelation. Her soul-baring openness about the pain of her past, her humor, and of course her bright effusive performance all formed a mixture that was captivating and deeply moving.

I recommend this show to anyone (other than young kids – it’s definitely R-rated!), regardless of your own issues or history. But maybe most of all, I recommend it to men, as Sidell gives us such a powerful insider’s-view of a woman’s struggles with image and self-definition in our judgmental society.

See this show. You’ll be entertained, you’ll be affected, and most likely you’ll be changed.

sweet - Doug


A wonderfully open and honest portrayal of a woman's journey through a difficult period and how she emerged triumphant... Bravely told and finely acted, with no-nonsense, crisp direction. A really great one-woman show!

sweet - Jennie Fahn


In Deconstructing Holly, she recounts her surgeries, “facing the loss of all the biological organs that deem one a woman,” and seeing her lifelong dream of motherhood being stolen from her with both honesty and humor and under Jonathan Fahn’s direction shows herself to an be exceedingly engaging presence on stage.

sweet - Ernest Kearney- The TVolution - ...read full review


Deconstructing Holly, represents one of an explosion of really well-crafted, well-performed solo shows over the last couple of years in Los Angeles live theatre. It nicely combines both focus and genuine drama in ways worthy of praise.

I'm going to start with one criticism, which is pretty much the only one on offer. Just to get it out of the way. The entire ebb and flow of the writing remains very much "on the nose." Each revelation this character goes through (a refreshing if a bit daunting multitude) is faced in the abstract, we are given a tiny speech, and voila Holly has learned her lesson. Frankly, this does not seem very human to me. It feels more like a cliffnotes version of her growing up with both gender and body issues, rather any kind of a journey. A lot of issues were brought up, then dropped, or glossed over.

Having said that, What is right in this show works extraordinarily well. Me, I'm a man, so I tend to face a different (sometimes related) set of issues and expectations, yet without a doubt the feelings Holly go through resonated. An entertaining delivery coupled with genuine heart, genuine pain, accomplishes much. It certainly did here. Our one character we follow began life with false expectations, a low sense of self worth, and a definition of self too shallow to work for long. Escaping from all that in an effort to find Love and become a Mother has within it several paradoxes Holly explores in ways which ultimately hurt. Her pain is one we recognize. I could feel it from the audience, but also in myself quite vividly.

Probably the strongest part was when she all-but-screamed, Job-like, at the unfairness of it all. She had spent years reshaping herself into a better person, a wiser person, a stronger one--yet in the end her "reward" was to be alone, betrayed, her body surgically altered into something that no longer feels like her, rendering her infertile as well as even more self-conscious about her appearance! It is WRONG. It is UNFAIR. It should NOT happen!

But it did. And facing that, then going forward, takes a lot. Holly honored us by sharing the power and (yes) the glory of that effort.

sweet - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Brutally honest, funny, entertaining, raw and emotional, Holly Sidell tells her life changing story in the bravest of ways. All actors and writers should tell stories with this level of truth.

While I have always been a fan of Holly's as a performer, director Jonathan Fahn propels her work -- and I hope they cling to this partnership for plays to come.

The writing is crisp and compelling, and Holly has put herself into the league of the top solo shows in town.

Must see.

sweet - Akira Nakano


Deconstructing Holly speaks to all of us on so many levels. It’s a dynamic production in loving service to love. Bravo to the artists involved in crafting this compelling and entertaining story!

sweet - Maria Pavone


Though you’d NEVER know it from hanging out or working with her, Holly has been through some pretty traumatic experiences. She unveils all in this brilliant 1-woman show where she lays her heart (and every body part she has lost) out on the table. Her story is woven beautifully as she bounces between playing herself, her “guide” Nigella, her doctors, schoolmates and many of the men she has dated. While it is a heart-warming, autobiographical play of one woman’s road to self love & acceptance, her journey is a relatable reminder of the unrealistic expectations we place upon ourselves and the unnecessary and often unhealthy compromises we seem willing to make in an effort to please others.

Holly Sidell gives the performance of her lifetime (literally), beautifully directed by Jonathan Fahn. The subject matter is mature, but the show never gets too bogged down or heavy while still honoring the full weight of the material. I HIGHLY recommend getting yourself out to the theater to witness this brave piece of beautiful storytelling.

sweet - Corey


A One-Woman Show: Holly & her story and performance is phenomenal! She is so sweet, soft, sexy, cute, clever, creative, beautiful, wonderful, likable and lovable with such talent, grace, style and a gift for writing & acting - a natural born ⭐️ made for the stage and in front of the camera! Her womanhood and femininity is rooted so deep, strong, intense and powerful that it stems through her very being as she simultaneously embodies, transcends and exudes it with and beyond her body while it blossoms and blooms at the level of her energy, soul, spirit, heart and mind like a magnificent flower!! She is very inspirational and worthy of so much respect, love, admiration and appreciation! Thank you for being YOU, for your contribution to society and for making this world a better, brighter, more beautiful place!! Don’t give, always hold onto hope and have faith that you will continue to rise and prevail! You deserve nothing but the best, a standing ovation, a five star plus review and her Highest Good!! I will keep you in my prayers...
Bravo!

✨💃🏻🌟🌎🎭💕✨🎟 👏🏻💖😎

sweet - Julianna


I’ve been a big fan of Sidell’s work as an actress, and her Huffington Post articles, over the years, but this show was still a revelation. Her soul-baring openness about the pain of her past, her humor, and of course her bright effusive performance all formed a mixture that was captivating and deeply moving.

I recommend this show to anyone (other than young kids – it’s definitely R-rated!), regardless of your own issues or history. But maybe most of all, I recommend it to men, as Sidell gives us such a powerful insider’s-view of a woman’s struggles with image and self-definition in our judgmental society.

See this show. You’ll be entertained, you’ll be affected, and most likely you’ll be changed.

sweet - Doug


A wonderfully open and honest portrayal of a woman's journey through a difficult period and how she emerged triumphant... Bravely told and finely acted, with no-nonsense, crisp direction. A really great one-woman show!

sweet - Jennie Fahn