Like Sophie wrote about her Fringe experiences yesterday, I did not intend to have a “theme day”, but I did: I wound up seeing two one-woman shows. However, I can’t really compare them, because the similarities kind of end there.
Lord of the Files, written and performed at the Theatre Garage by Lesley Tsina, is a peek into the life of a woman working for a company that has just announced that they are laying off the entire office slowly, over the course of nine months. Lesley weaves together tales of her personal life, her job (working in 2006 for a company that creates cell phone ringtones), her coworkers, her philosophy on life, and the crazy way the “HR lady” tries to keep morale up on a very slowly sinking ship. Lesley Tsina is a talented storyteller and comedian with excellent timing and a commanding presence. Lord of the Files is intensely entertaining and well-performed, and if you’ve ever worked in an office, ever had a loved one who worked in an office, ever watched The Office, you should go watch and enjoy.
Meanwhile, over at Red Eye Theatre, Chicago-based Rebecca Kling performs her show Get Ready for the Vagina Fairy. Part comedy, part informational presentation, Vagina Fairy feels like “Trans 101” as taught by a stand-up comedian. In her show, Kling talks about her journey as a transwoman, and how sometimes life is so ridiculous that you just have to laugh. She is very frank, very well-spoken, and very entertaining. If you think you will wince at someone saying “vagina” repeatedly, well, you probably shouldn’t go see this… or, to be fair, any show with that word in the title. Now, I have a personal desire to see more GLBT theatre that isn’t just about being GLBT, and that includes more trans characters and actors that exist for reasons other than teaching the rest of the world about trans issues. At the same time, this education is incredibly useful and probably needs to be seen by a lot of people. Kling‘s show is worth your time, and if you are familiar with trans issues, the show will still be entertaining, and if you aren’t, I promise you this is the most fun way for you to learn. Also, there is a vagina fairy and “the world’s first ‘Strip Q&A'”.