by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Julia Cavanagh exposes herself through a journey of self-love and discovery in her one-woman show, Stripped, a winding, many-detoured, autobiographical ramble that chronicles her life growing up in a small town, stripping for cash, surviving heart surgery, battling bulimia, love addiction, and depression, and succumbing, breaking up, even killing the inner voices who hurt her over and over.

Cavanaugh goes from addiction to addiction in search of healing. She suffers debilitating and terrible violence in many forms: self-hatred, manipulation, rape and more. In all this, she manages to pull through, and surprisingly with the help of an unlikely inner champion.

Barring that the direction is barely perceptible and leaves Cavanaugh without a rudder throughout a great portion of the show, and that it needs a bit of re-construction in the writing, Stripped is poignant in the many un-splendored things this young woman faces as a broad example of unfortunately normalized female experience.

Cavanaugh’s storytelling is at times timid but mostly fluid and she’s quite fantastic with the comedic bits and the variety of character accents.

Overall, Stripped is incredibly honest in all it’s heartfelt, real-world, on-stage messiness.