Jen Bosworth has a lot to say, and she’s not afraid to share the good, the bad and the ugly. Though you might feel like her therapist, she crafts an energetic and often amusing performance in the 70-minute autobiographical solo piece Why Not Me, accompanied by skillful guitarist Briar Rabbit. Director Alyson Lyon performs the curtain-raiser: an awkward and meandering comedy routine centered on an original comic song called “Dear Matt Dillon,” whose allusions to metaphysics and self-actualization (vision boards are name-checked) link it to Bosworth’s monologue. Bosworth tells of being a struggling actor working first at a spiritual bookstore called Bodhi Tree and then, for a short stint, as Nicholas Cage’s personal assistant (“Jen…what’s a deli?!?”). Her dreams unrealized, the discouraged Bosworth moves back home to Chicago, just in time to watch her father die. Next comes a search for meaning, an obsession with musician Jack White and two bouts of cancer, after which our hero realizes that everything happens for a reason. Though Why Not Me is far from the “raucous reprieve” that Bosworth seeks in White’s music, it is a sympathetic (if sometimes clumsy) tale of life’s challenges and the personal grit necessary to survive them.—Arielle Shipper
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