BWW Review: MIRANDA SINGS LIVE: NO OFFENSE at Holland Performing Arts Center

BWW Review: MIRANDA SINGS LIVE: NO OFFENSE at Holland Performing Arts Center

In September 2009 my daughter and I took a mother-daughter trip to NYC where we caught a performance of a YouTuber named "Miranda Sings" at Birdland. During the show, she was giving voice lessons to future star Ariana Grande, her Broadway brother Frankie, and the casts of BILLY ELLIOT and SHREK. We didn't know then how popular this quirky, funny woman would become.

Colleen Ballinger, the real person behind Miranda Sings, opened her show last night at Omaha's Holland Performing Arts Center by announcing her pregnancy. From there she transformed into her iconic personality, insisting that she is the Virgin Miranda because she has never "done porn."

The crowd of mostly teens and tweens, many of whom were dressed in typical Miranda costume (red sweat pants, blue and white pinstriped shirt buttoned to the top, and Crocs) cheered and screamed to everything Miranda did. Whether Miranda was demonstrating her five talents (acting, singing, dancing, modeling, and magic), reciting from her childhood diary, or reading some of her favorite hate mail, the audience loved her.

Hate mail, according to Miranda, is what has made her famous. She said, "You might think I'm hurt, but I'm getting paid from all the comments and views." Miranda launched into a self penned song incorporating several of the mean comments, which was my favorite part of the show.

Using the hate mail as a baseline, Miranda has come to stand for anti-bullying. Although she bullies others, it is an exaggerated joke meant to demonstrate the stupidity of it all. She speaks of the importance of confidence and rejecting mean behavior.

The title of Miranda's tour is "No Offense." "People get offended by everything," she said. However, it doesn't matter what rude remark you make. You can say anything you want. As long as you preface it with two words- "No offense"- people cannot get mad at you. Even though it is funny, it points a finger at the hypocrisy of our behavior.

When Miranda combines her magic tricks with her singing, we see her remarkable talent. Her accomplice inserts a sword through her neck (not really, of course) and her voice switches between the off key notes of Miranda and an incredibly beautiful soprano. Colleen's bit of opera was stunning in its clarity and tone.

Colleen has made herself into an icon simply by her own ingenuity. Initially creating YouTube videos to poke fun at the performer wannabes who believe they will become sensations through posting terrible singing videos online, Colleen developed a personality who sees herself as more than she is. She is obnoxious, but sweetly so. She is confident, but talentless. She is connected to her home life and resonates with the youth (especially girls) of today.

I am totally impressed that she has accumulated millions of fans through social media. Somehow, she has found an inroad to the minds of our youth. I applaud her for her creativity, her sensitivity, and her offbeat sense of humor.

Who doesn't need a role model like Miranda?

Miranda Sings...no offense...off key, but that's part of her charm.

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From This Author Christine Swerczek

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