Instant Insight

Off the Leesh Productions's Help Me Help Myself: The New York Guide to Love, Fame, Fortune and Everything You've Ever Dreamt of in 30 Days or Less, despite its lengthy title, is a streamlined piece of theater that nonetheless delivers more laughs than many shows twice its length. The 75-minute play is an ironic, comic odyssey through the intersecting lives of one very Zen New Yorker and four neurotic ones. Claire (the endearingly wry Marina Kotovnikov) is a struggling writer, frustrated at how her blissful childhood has hindered her ability to "contribute to the general malaise that is afflicting [her] generation." Claire meets Becky, a self-help-obsessed actress played with appealing sincerity by Julie Tortorici, who touts the program set forth in her favorite Oprah Winfrey-endorsed book, Help Me Help Myself. The two characters play off each other's contrasting personalities to delightful comic effect as Becky tries to convince Claire to join her on the road to self-actualization.

In Claire's efforts to find her own copy of the book

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