RIDICULOUS (Jennifer Blaine): 2018 Fringe review

 

RIDICULOUS, Jennifer Blaine's 16th original solo work for the Philly Fringe, is out-of-character in that she is "playing" herself rather than other characters.

RIDICULOUS, Jennifer Blaine’s 16th original solo work for the Philly Fringe, is out-of-character in that she is “playing” herself rather than other characters.

Jennifer Blaine is a familiar Philly Fringe performer, traditionally in one-woman, multi-character shows a la Lily Tomlin and Tracey Ullman. Her 2018 Fringe offering RIDICULOUS, by contrast, is standup comedy of a personal, political and feminist nature that is graced by Blaine’s engaging performance, but hindered by its ridiculously long one-and-three-quarter-hour runtime. To say that Blaine doesn’t have enough good material to do that long a show is neither surprising nor a knock: It’s why Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock almost never perform for more than an hour.

Blaine tries to fill the time/break up the waves of one-liners with audience-participation games. In the most successful of them, she and a fellow mom discovered the stalkers lurking in the lyrics to popular love songs (Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello,” Blondie’s “One Way or Another” etc.). But she saves her best bit — a story of sexual awakening involving her childhood Siamese — until almost the very end.

You’ll never look at a Q-tip the same way again.

[L'Etage, 624 S. Sixth St.] September 14-23, 2018; fringearts.com/event/ridiculous-3/, jenniferblaine.com

Fringe Festival, Fringe reviews, Reviews, Theater - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , - 1 comment

About the author

Carolyn Wyman

Carolyn Wyman is the author of seven food books and was copy chief at Philadelphia City Paper, before its untimely demise. She currently leads food tours at Reading Terminal Market and writes the Philly Food Finds column about signature dishes at local eateries for philly.com. Learn more at carolynwyman.com.