Saturday, April 18, 2009

One FUNNY Pez dispenser...

Princess Leia didn't actually drive Carrie Fisher to drink, dope, and bipolarism, but after seeing Fisher's one-woman show Wishful Drinking at Seattle Rep one realizes that the actress can't quite shake the character, as much as she'd like to. The show features not one but two Leia wigs, Leia shampoo, Leia action figures, a life-size, concrete Leia sex doll, a Leia sculpture on a turntable with anatomically correct "galaxy snatch," and more.

"I'm a PEZ dispenser and I'm in an abnormal psychology textbook," Fisher marvels. "Who says you can't have it all?"

And who's that on the cover of her book, adapted from the stage show? Yes, for Fisher, Leia is always there. Damn George Lucas.

"Lucas owns my image," Fisher deadpans. "When I look in the mirror I have to send him a couple bucks."

I tend to be skeptical of one-actor shows, which seem mostly aimed at being inexpensive and making money, especially when they feature someone of Fisher's star power. Wishful Drinking really isn't theater. It's more like a two-hour stand-up act with some psychotherapy thrown in. But it was a hell of a lot of fun.

"If my life wasn't funny it would just be true," Fisher says, "and that's unacceptable."

I thought the funniest part of the show was the complicated "family tree" of Fisher's parents, Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, and their multiple marriages and dalliances. Carrie uses the opportunity to skewer the folks, though she clearly still adores them -- she lives next door to her mom!

The set for the show was simple, with a comfy chair, a couch, a few tables, and a background wall on which scores of images were projected. 

Fisher's story is a wild one, and she has the performing chops to make it totally hilarious. Wishful Drinking will be at the Rep through May 3.

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