Sarah Jones: one woman goes Broadway.(CENTER STAGE)

Source: Ebony
Date: 6/1/2006
YOU can call it a friend in high places or simply having a guardian angel. Either way, playwright/poet/actress Sarah Jones, already acclaimed and building an audience, soared to stratospheric heights after legendary Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep saw her one-woman show in New York.
For months, the 31-year-old Jones has been performing for enthusiastic, capacity crowds at Broadway's Helen Hayes Theater in her one woman show, Bridge & Tunnel, during which she plays 14 different characters of various ages, genders and ethnicities.

While performing her multiple-character show in a small venue several years ago, Streep was impressed enough to approach Jones and offer to produce her show off-Broadway. So, earlier this year, buoyed by phenomenal reviews and the attention that Streep brought, Jones took her show uptown to the bright lights of Broadway.

In Bridge & Tunnel, Jones easily moves from being a Chinese mother grappling with her gay daughter to a Pakistani accountant to a wheelchair-bound Mexican union organizer and on to a Jewish grandmother. All of her characters are New York immigrants who, poetically, have moving, humorous and unique stories to tell.

"When I first saw her, I thought that I'd never seen anybody who had that deep understanding of other people," Streep said.

The tall and slender Jones had been a performer for years, writing and performing poetry and doing a one-woman show displaying the voices and attitudes of her hometown, New York City. Now, the whole country is taking note of her amazing skills.

Jones, who has a multicultural background, used her own life and her observations about the Big Apple as fodder for her comedy. "I feel very connected at a fundamental level to every other person I've ever met," she told CBS. "I know that it sounds really hokey and strange, but it's a familial relationship to the true sense of that. The 'human family' to me really is a concept that I live with every day."

Before Bridge & Tunnel, Jones won awards and critical acclaim for another one-woman show, Surface Transit.

After leaving Bryn Mawr College, Jones found herself back in New York, working various jobs and entering poetry slams. She began telling her story in one-woman monologues. Her shows have lured huge crowds in Europe, Asia and Africa, and she has also performed on HBO, Bravo and PBS.

In post-9/11 America, her show has been hailed as a bridge to understanding the various and complex cultures that make up the United States.

While Jones is enjoying the success of Bridge & Tunnel, at the same time, she is working with her fiancée, Steve Colman, on her next one-woman show.