Getting back into the dating scene "when you're 100 years old — or might as well be," isn't for shrinking violets. Neither is breast cancer, losing your beloved husband unexpectedly, watching two brothers deal with mental illness, and hoping the bikini top that you're expected to wear for a commercial audition will cover your mastectomy prosthesis.
Veteran stage and screen actor Annie Abbott shares her years of hard knocks and success, love, loss and new love with high-octane spirit and a great deal of humor in her new one-woman show, “Giving Up Is Hard to Do,” at the Victory Theatre Center in Burbank. And if Abbott's revelations aren't exactly earth-shattering, the life they represent is one that has been lived fully and is moving full steam ahead into the future.
On production designer Francois-Pierre Couture's unfussy set — a table with laptop, well-stocked bookcase, brick walls, potted plants, folding chairs — Abbott, directed by Joel Zwick (the long-time Hershey Felder collaborator whose film credits include “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”), moves with enviable energy, traveling back and forth in time and introducing multiple characters from past and present. These include her late husband, children and grandchildren, her strong-minded Russian Jewish grandma (the family matriarch), and assorted others, from prima donna plastic surgeons to a beautiful stranger on the plane who unexpectedly imparts a much-needed message of affirmation.