BWW Review: LISA LAMPANELLI'S LOSIN' IT at Des Moines Performing Arts: An Unforgettable Evening About How We View Ourselves
Looking in the mirror can be hard. At times we see the best side of us. At other times we see the worst. One of the things we look at is our weight. We are either too skinny or too fat. It's time that we quit using labels do define who we are. This is a challenge given to the audience who attend "Lisa Lampanelli's Losin' It," which is currently playing at the Temple Theatre as part of Des Moines Performing Arts and Prairie Meadows Temple Comedy Series. If you haven't been to this production yet, which opened on February 4, then you need to get your tickets ASAP.
Formerly known as, "The Queen of Mean," Lisa Lampanelli, and the cast are opening up about their struggles with weight. The show is mixed with moments that had the audience in tears laughing, and then the next tears from the emotional pull this show has. While each of the actors shares different stories, everyone in the audience seemed to connect with at least one cast member's stories, if not more. While each story brought humor and heart to the show, the segments in between are at times the funniest as the cast goes on short speed rounds going over things like foods, diets, and gyms, as well as others.
The heart of the show comes from each of the actors telling their struggles. Lisa shares her struggles of gaining and losing weight leading her to get a gastric sleeve. Eden Malyn gives us a look at her battle with eating disorders and being the perfect weight with her body dysmorphia. Marissa Rosen's story reminds us to love ourselves no matter what weight we are. We also look at our relationships through Frank Liotti's relationship with his father. Each of their stories brings a heart to the show that audiences won't soon forget.
Lisa Lampanelli has always been an open book, and this show is no different. At the end of the show, she takes about 30 minutes to have an open conversation where she opens it up for a Q and A. Any questions the audience can think of. While the audience was a little hesitant, once questions started coming, they didn't end. During this time, Lisa was asked if she was glad she had her surgery. Another question was how she has gone on as a comic even when going through depression. But there were takeaways as well. Weight loss surgery wasn't enough; she had to love herself and who she was for it to remain successful. As an artist, when she is having a bad day, she doesn't do the show for her, she does it for her audience. For me, the most impactful thing said during the night, which is why this show is so important. When you tell your story, it makes people feel less alone. By sharing her story, people can see they aren' the only ones struggling with the situations they are facing.
When I entered the bare stage with two tables, four chairs, and four music stands, I had no idea what to expect. What I got was a show that made me laugh and made me reflect on how I even look at myself. This funny yet powerful production is only here for a limited time and closes on February 23. To find out more, or to purchase tickets to "Lisa Lampanelli's Losin' It" visit https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/lisa-lampanellis-losin-it/
Review written by DC Felton
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