Given Ms. Corman’s ability to invest palpable humanity in stage characters–her daughter’s scream is both heartbreaking and bloodcurdling–this denial seems like a particularly strong expression of anger. However, the story’s real twist is that Mr. Alexander and Ms. Corman stay together despite the disaster that rocked their lives and their relationship improves in some aspects after they are forced to start afresh.
Perhaps this development could have been a little easier to grasp if it was dramatized, in scenes that did not quarantine the story’s essential parts and that gravitated towards real-time resolution. As an audience, you would rather see, than hear just as an anecdote, how Maddie Corman came to comprehend her marriage partner as an individual who is unwell but not evil, poisoned by pornography. And how Ms. Corman came to be by Mr. Alexander’s side not just in health, but in sickness as well, just as she promised in her wedding vows.
Maddie Corman, who became a professional actor during her teenage years, and experienced sexual harassment when she was young, gives a world-class performance in the script. Her nanosecond timing has enabled her to nail tricky ensembles in The Babylon Line as an artless matron, and in Net Fall as a sophisticated sidekick, among other roles.
In Accidentally Brave, however, Ms. Corman is forced to develop a dramatic illusion through a sort of solo montage. She is seen in many customized bravura series toggling with daredevil facility among different moods and characters. Ms. Corman navigates various moods from false calm to devastation to the furor, as if she is road testing to determine which one is most effective.
Though it’s hard not to respond to the intensity of the theatre production, the confessional monologue genre of Accidentally Brave makes it a bit slick. And though Maddie Corman does not like the word “journey” her script contains self-help jargon. Ms. Corman provides that de rigueur excuse more than once in narrating her tale that she wishes to be of service.
Directed by Kristin Hanggi, Accidentally Brave appears to draw its cue from the same concept, couching distress in a subtle atmosphere of hope. The original music by Claire Wellin and projections by Elaine J. McCarthy suggests a unique episode of Oprah. Interestingly, there is an Oprah-like character–a very famous, very amazing person referred to as Angel– who bursts into the scene from time to time to provide advice and support.
It’s hard to tell the number of people connected to angels. Equally hard to tell is the number of individuals that could afford the deluxe Arizona rehabilitation that assisted Jace Alexander. Nevertheless, at every turn Accidentally Brave contends that families can get through psychological turmoil and restructure themselves on a more somber and solid basis (yes, even after an MRS BPO letter). This kind of encouragement is very helpful, especially to individuals and families experiencing similar trauma. Maddie Corman’s performance is less convincing with the positives than with the negatives. Could that be because even without disaster life is too? This is a question that Accidentally Brave will certainly not help you with.