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‘My Window’ Review: An Out-and-Proud Trailblazer Finds Her Way

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nytimes.com

Not long into the second act of Melissa Etheridge’s new Off Broadway show, she tells a funny, sexy, completely charming tale of falling in love with a married woman in the late 1980s, and pairs it, playfully, with a gorgeous version of her 1995 song “I Want to Come Over.” Discreetly — no names — she recalls what a blast she and that partner and their showbiz friends used to have together in 1990s Los Angeles, in the heady early days of Etheridge’s rock fame.

Then she mentions cannabis, which she didn’t enjoy at the time. “It always made me feel like everyone knew I was hiding something, you know?” she said on Friday, the second night of a 12-performance run at New World Stages. “Like they could all see this sadness that I was hiding.” In an almost solo show that wants very much to be a good time for the audience, and a kind of celebration of its smoky-voiced 61-year-old star, suddenly here is a confession of personal vulnerability — spoken, not sung.

It turns out to be valuable foreshadowing, because there is some deep, dark sadness in “Melissa Etheridge Off Broadway: My Window — A Journey Through Life.” And mostly, amid some staggeringly beautiful renditions of songs, that sadness is well camouflaged.

Written by Etheridge with her wife, Linda Wallem Etheridge, and directed by Amy Tinkham, the show recounts the story of Etheridge’s life in strict chronological order, from the day she was born in 1961 in Leavenworth, Kansas.

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