The Roxy Theatre
2657 Quadra Street
Wed Aug 31 – 9:45pm
Sat Sep 3 – 5:30pm
My buddy and fellow co-writer, James Shaw can benefit from seeing a rather inspirational self-help presentation, The Lion, The Bitch and the Wardrobe in the last few days of the 2016 Victoria Fringe Festival. He just needs to make the time, along with everything he tells me he likes to do but never does. I really do not know what’s holding him back. Well, I do, but do not believe he can stay like Ebenezer Scrooge forever.
I love the title of this show and have to note that it has nothing to do with the classic piece of literature by C.S. Lewis (some attendees might get drawn in by the title than play summary); this performance has everything to do with opening up and moving forward in life to do great stuff! Whether the problem lies with mental health issues or letting fear of getting ahead control you (symbolized by the lion), folks do not have to hide in a safety net (the wardrobe closet) forever.
You can’t let those demons haunt you. This show explores the insecurities that globally known comedienne Sharon Mahoney had in her rise to stardom. She is looking back at the issues she faced in a funny way where you can laugh along and feel sympathy for. She created a variety of kooky characters for this show to represent different times of her life and perhaps also met. Folks randomly deciding to see this performance will find more than a one-person variety show about a lady from the future. She’s kind of like Phillis Diller looking back at her life. The next most amusing is her Dr. Phil type of character. After placing in the top three in 2006’s Laff Riot Girls competition for best stand up (female division) in British Columbia, she has been hitting the comedy club circuit consistently and worldwide.
Her show is thoughtful and evocative. If some folks do not get it, they will. I really appreciated the fact that Mahoney takes the time to explain exactly why this act exists. Upon hearing that, I immediately thought of my friend who can use the help. He’s too proud to admit to any problems, but I know he has issues. He helped me out when I needed it and I want to do the same for him.
Mahoney offers interactive comedy, retrospective and puppetry to tell her tale of fighting her problems head on. Her show is like continued therapy for her and I find it cool to be helping not only her but also myself. No one can be picture perfect; in my opinion, that kind of world does not exist (Mahoney takes a moment to mention the rough life John Belushi, Carrie Fisher and Robin Williams had). I like to add to the list Lou Costello. Had I somehow managed to convince James to see this show, then maybe that huge wall he’s built around himself might start to crack; bricks will be loosened and just maybe I can see a truly confident person emerge.
Laughter makes for the best medicine and this show does so with reasonable success. Although slow to start, the energy does develop when Mahoney gets the audience participating. Not everyone has to, but if they can all at least make that initial leap to deal with those hurdles in life, the rewards at the end will have everyone smiling.
Yes, you can insert that Buddy Ryan moment from Night Court here. “I’m feeling much better now.”
3½ Blokes out of 5