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BWW Reviews: FIX ME, JESUS is a Brilliant Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

Helen Sneed's FIX ME, JESUS, directed by Sam Pinkleton, delivers laugher, hard truth, and keeps the audience on The Edge of their seats, all while never leaving a Neiman Marcus dressing room.

The year: 1986. The setting: Dallas, Texas. Annabell Armstrong, a rising star in the Texas Democratic party (Polly Lee), fruitlessly searches for the perfect dress at Neiman Marcus, with the help of Neiman Marcus employee and family friend, Mrs. Craig (Lee Roy Rogers). With each dress, Annabell is visited by a scene from her past, including her typical 60's mother (Lori Gardner), her headstrong, communist-hating grandmother (Lisa McMillan) her younger self (Kate Froemmling), and occasionally her current therapist/lover (Mitch Tebo).

The cast is a stellar ensemble of a very colorful cast of characters. Lee gives a knockout performance, from the moment she struts onstage sporting a fabulously gaudy fur coat, to the moment she finds her perfect dress, and, ultimately, her inner peace. Froemmling, in her professional debut, makes for a very real, and very tragic, look into Annabell's past, clouded with the idea of looks, not books, and narrow-minded would-be patriotism. As Annabell's grandmother, McMillan's performance is a cut above the rest. There is something also to be said by Gardner's inner conflict over family, happiness, and love as Annabell's hapless mother.

Packed with 80's mementos a plenty in the puffy sleeves and bold cuts and colors of the dresses, not to mention the vintage Dr. Pepper bottles and cans, a trademark of typical Texas life, FIX ME, JESUS is an emotional roller coaster. There's humor, love, laughter, and high fashion of the day.

The audience was a modest spattering of older ladies and gents, with a more youthful patron here and there. The familiarity to those native of Texas, especially during the era in question, is apparent. This world premiere is not to be missed.

Performances run through Sunday, November 24 in the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre (312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues): Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm; Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm; and Sundays at 2pm (exception: opening, Sunday, November 10 at 5pm). Tickets $25: Call Ovationtix at 866-811-4111; Or visit www.abingdontheatre.org.


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