Theater Review: ‘Accidentally Brave’

Surviving someone else's shameful secret
May 13, 2019 Updated: May 19, 2019

NEW YORK—Actress Maddie Corman had it all—a nice husband of over 20 years; a lovely home in Dobbs Ferry, New York; three great kids; all the necessities; and a lot of luxury—until one morning, as she was driving to Brooklyn around 5 a.m. to film a stint in a forgettable TV show, her cellphone rang.

It was her 15-year-old daughter on the point of hysterics, screaming: “Mommy, they’re taking Daddy’s computer away!”

Completely unbeknown to Maddie, the computer contained films of child pornography.

It was the beginning of a downward spiral for Maddie. Her wonderful world was dissolving.

What follows in this one-woman show is a true tale of stress and dealing with hard changes. Her husband, director Jace Alexander, is losing work, and finances are stretched. They must give up their wonderful home and move to a less glamorous site.

Jace must be listed as a sex offender.

Ultimately, a therapy organization is brought into the picture. It’s located in Arizona and seems like a kind of spa. It obviously requires big bucks, so not everybody can afford it. Luckily, Jace can.

It’s designed to treat addicts. And the compulsion to view child porn is an addiction.

First, Jace goes there on his own. Later, Maddie joins him, and is astonished at how eye-opening the experience is. She learns things, about both herself and her husband, that she’d never known. And, if anything, the experience appears to strengthen the bonds of her relationship with her husband.

At any rate, the couple is still together.

Maddie also bonds with some of the other wives at the center. They have nothing in common with her. Yet they have everything in common with her.

Back in New York, Maddie suffers at the possibility of being snubbed by her colleagues. Does anybody know? Yes, everybody knows. It’s in the newspapers. Yet, people are basically kind. Some tactfully ignore her; others offer advice: “You should leave him,” one offers. “You’ve got to stay and tough it out,” another insists.

It’s a tribute to Maddie Corman. A lesser soul might have caved, but instead she uses the experience to turn it into creative gold.

Corman, an attractive figure on stage, slender and lithe, performs easily. Undoubtedly, she has worked closely with director Kristin Hanggi. Set by Jo Winiarski and lighting by Jamie Roderick enhance the production.

It’s well worth seeing for a real-life depiction of a brave woman.

‘Accidentally Brave’
DR2 Theatre
103 E. 15th St.
New York
Tickets: 800-745-3000, or Ticketmaster.com
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes (no intermission)
Closes: July 13

Diana Barth writes for various theatrical publications and for New Millennium. She may be contacted at diabarth99@gmail.com

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