Torrence presents one-woman show

Lisa Torrence will perform a one-woman show this weekend at Club Switch in Youngstown for Rust Belt Theater Company.

Each year, Rust Belt founder Robert Dennick Joki picks one of the theater company’s regular performers for a solo showcase. Rust Belt is resuming the tradition this year after a two-year pause caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joki described Torrence as “One of the hardest working, most reliable performers we have, and she meets every challenge I throw at her, head on.”

Torrence said she was equal parts excited and shocked / horrified when Joki offered her the opportunity.

“This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this,” she said. “I saw some of the other one-person shows at Rust Belt and started to think about what I would say if I was ever going to do my own show. One of the ideas that intrigued me is, I’m one of the older members of the theater company. Watching some of my friends and fellow actors graduate with theater degrees, they had to do something like this as a senior project. It occurred to me at 55 years old, I could do a ‘senior’ project, so this is my senior project.”

Torrence has appeared in several Rust Belt show over the years. Among her favorites are “Jesus vs. the Zombies” and her two appearance in “Godiva: A Burlesque Musical.”

For “Enter, Lisa Torrence,” she looks back on her life and what she has and hasn’t learned along the way.

“It’s almost like I’ve reached the point where I thought I would know more about life than I do,” she said. “It seemed like my parents and grandparents, once they got to a certain age, had life wisdom. I didn’t feel I had any, so I went through my life to see what I’d missed, looking at the things I’ve experienced in my life to see if I’d gotten any life wisdom from it.”

The show is punctuated with songs that have meaning to her, from the first thing she ever sang at karaoke to the music of Barry Manilow.

“In one section, I talk about how Barry Manilow saved my life, and he did,” Torrence said. “Growing up, his music made me feel better when I felt terrible.”

If you go …

WHAT: Rust Belt Theater Company — “Enter, Lisa Torrence”

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday

WHERE: Club Switch, 221 Belmont Ave., Youngstown

HOW MUCH: $15. For reservations call 330-507-2358.


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