Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fringe Review: The Ukrainian Dentist's Daughter

Posted By on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 12:38 PM


As Maya, the protagonist of Yana Kesala's moving one-woman show The Ukrainian Dentist's Daughter, says at the start, "It's funny the stuff you remember. It's funny too the stuff you forget." Mya doesn't seem to forget a moment; we first meet her in 1946 as a 3-year-old girl playing amid the rubble of post-war Berlin, then flash forward to her wedding day in 1967 New York. Waiting at the altar for her absent groom to (hopefully) arrive, Maya bounces back and forth in time, sharing rememberances of two opposing forces in her life -- the doting dentist dad she idolized, and the unyielding mother that dragged her to Catskills resorts in search of a "Ukie" husband.

Maya derides herself as a "tall curly haired Bigfoot [from] Ukrainian peasant stock," but Kesala beaming grin and expressive eyes are magnetically beautiful as the pull us into her past. Her journey, based on Kesala's own mother's life story, manages to be emotionally engaging without becoming cloying or navel-gazing. Fluid character transitions, perfectly synchronized with simple but effective lighting shifts, transport the audience across time and space with just a subtle change of Kesala's countenance. The show ends on cliffhanger with an enigmatic sound cue, but what it lacks in narrative closure, it more than makes up for in emotional depth. One of this Fringe's best bets for heartfelt, intimate drama.

Note: This review is based on a preview performance that the press was invited to attend.

The Ukrainian Dentist's Daughter

Radiant Moxie (Seattle, WA)

Rating: G

Run Time: 55 minutes


Blue Venue

Genre: Comedy, drama, solo-show, storytelling


Show times:

Fri, May 17 2013, 7:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.

Sat, May 18 2013, 1:15p.m. - 2:15p.m.

Sun, May 19 2013, 2:45p.m. - 3:45p.m.

Tue, May 21 2013, 5:45p.m. - 6:45p.m.

Thu, May 23 2013, 6:45p.m. - 7:45p.m.

Sat, May 25 2013, 11:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.

Sun, May 26 2013, 12:30p.m. - 1:30p.m.


Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation