Berman’s character looks like a ghost, a consequence, you intuit, of post-traumatic stress disorder, but also of her role as an outsider, a kind of emissary from another time and place. You blink out from your seat at what Berman and Stalling have created here, and I swear you see a woman carrying a great burden on her shoulders, and so the stakes of the drama rise exponentially.
Poised yet vulnerable
Berman, a young newcomer to Chicago, is a beautiful and vulnerable actress
Emily Berman, choreographed as the eye of the family storm, shouts to be heard, spins pretty top notes flecked with dreams, and displays a warm middle voice that beautifully matches her hard-won self-reliance.
...a slender beauty with an almond-shaped face, easy intelligence and lovely voice”
Emily Berman’s subtle performance as the emotionally overwhelmed Tessa is only surpassed by her extraordinary alto.
The piece opens on the wedding day of Tessa (Emily Berman, a newcomer with a remarkable presence and earthy, penetrative voice)
Berman beautifully evokes a portrait of a young woman trying to find her emotional legs following the collapse of her wedding. Tessa is hurting inside, but Berman gives her a brave front that exhibits a maturity which asks for no coddling from parents who would love to coddle her.
Besides having a beautiful voice for singing the Blues (and the only one to sing live), Berman’s unloved wife moves from stoic resolve to collapse in heartrending fashion.
Berman was the standout, depicting a woman who’s striving to provide her politically dissembled country with an identity, a privileged place in art history, and thus a respected name in the world