“I Am My Own Wife” by Doug Wright at Seattle Repertory Theatre

“Nature has played a trick on us,” says his lesbian aunt to her young nephew Lothar, and with that gives him permission to become the woman she knows she is. The story of transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf has been thrilling theatre audiences around the world since it opened in New York in 2003.

Seattle Rep’s production of this award winning play (Pulitzer, Tony, etc.) is a jewel. The set (Jennifer Zeyl), costume (Erik Andor), lighting (Robert Aguilar), and sound (Robertson Witmer) provide an ideal background for Nick Garrison’s brilliant portrayal of Charlotte and the dozens of people who enter and leave her life. Garrison, who played the lead in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” some years ago, moves seamlessly from part to part, then slips back perfectly into the persona of the somewhat prim, definitely ladylike, and always intriguing Charlotte. Kudos to director Jerry Manning for pulling it all together.

Charlotte’s story is riveting. She survived a brutal father, the homophobic Nazis and then the East German Communists. How she managed raises some troubling questions, but persevere, nay triumph, she did. As she says, one must be as smart as the snakes; it says so in the Bible.

And there’s good news for those of you who haven’t seen the play or have been told that it’s sold out. The play has been extended until March 10.

Through March 10 at Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St., Seattle, (206-443-2222 or www.seattlerep.org).

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