BWW Review: ONE FUNNY MOTHER at Starlight Theatre
Dena Blizzard's "One Funny Mother" is a well-designed one-woman-show playing in the Starlight Stagehouse Theatre for a slightly weather attenuated five day run through Sunday. Dena, a popular Internet You Tube performer, is redundantly an East Coast Mom, relentless promoter, and stand-up comic. "One Funny Mother" is the touring continuation of her self-written "Off Broadway" show first presented in 2015.
Dena is a very attractive lady in her early 40s with a slightly off-kilter view on the realization that most people experience as they begin to change through their lives. Dena has the courage to give voice to that experience. Have you heard of the seven stages of grief? As Charles Schulz might have observed, Good Grief is an oxymoron. Good Grief ...indeed! No matter who you are, getting older is not for sissies.
"One Funny Mother" is essentially Dena's comic lament as she passes through the first stages of the process. Dena started out with more good fortune than most of us. She was, and still is, pretty hot, reasonably smart, and whip quick on the uptake. At one point, she was a beauty contest winner. All these initial blessings make her inevitable rites of passage even more shocking to her as she transitions to the place that most folks have always lived.
Dena finds herself mid marriage, with three kids, a follicly-challenged slightly overweight OCD spouse, and a tendency to lean too heavily on the fermented leavings of the grape. She wonders how the Hell she ever arrived at this place as a domestic engineer, a professional nanny, and worse a mid-marriage spouse. Ugh!
How funny you find Dena Blizzard has a lot to do with your place in the cosmos. If you happen to be a fairly young Gen X, Y, or Millennial lady out for commiseratory evening with a bunch of your buddies, I suspect you will find her very funny. In other words, misery loves company and wine is available.
Other age demographics will recognize the early stages of grief and smirk at all the stuff Dena has yet to experience. One reviewer complained that the show is a collection of one-liners. I kind of like one liners.
The central conceits of "One Funny Mother" are a clever bit of stage business where her family's clothing is strewn around the set and she can't make it through the day without small hidden wine containers all over the house. The stage business is the constant folding of all that strew.
A video screen upstage center shows clips of people (who are probably friends) and who amplify her points, cover costume changes, and allow Dena necessary short breaks. Dena Blizzard is a very good and practiced performer with excellent comic timing. Ninety minutes on stage doing gags and hanging out by yourself in front of 500 of your closest strangers ain't easy and Dena brings it off pretty well.
Dena Blizzard's "One Funny Mother" continues at Starlight Indoors through Sunday, February 24. Grab a bunch of your girlfriends, bubble wrap some wine glasses (or pick them up there), and enjoy. Remember, laugh and the bunch of people you are with will probably laugh with you. Be by yourself and you risk drinking more or starting to write a comedy special. Audiences should be prepared for some salty language.
Tickets for "One Funny Mother" are available on the Starlight website or by phone at 816-363-7827.
Photos: courtesy of Starlight Theatre.