BWW Review: Storm Large Blows the Roof Off of the Armory in CRAZY ENOUGH, at Portland Center Stage
If you Google Storm Large, you'll find article after article describing her as a "force of nature." The PCS playbill says this too, and it's how Artistic Director Marissa Wolf introduced her on opening night of CRAZY ENOUGH (which also happened to be Storm's 50th birthday). I had started to think it was all a little much, until Storm came out and -- between her seismic voice and the roars she elicited from the crowd -- blew the roof off of the Armory. She really does make her own weather, and holy crap can she own a song!
CRAZY ENOUGH is Large's autobiographical solo cabaret show that premiered 10 years ago at PCS and still holds the record for their most successful show ever. It's back now for an 8-show engagement and there are very few tickets left, so if you don't have yours yet, stop reading this and go get it.
CRAZY ENOUGH is about not being afraid to take up space in the world. It's essentially one big anthem for anyone who feels like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, and also a big middle finger to anyone who has ever suggested a woman should be quiet and do as she's told.
The show chronicles Storm's life starting from age 9, when a doctor at a psychiatric hospital where her mom was staying following a suicide attempt told her that the condition was hereditary. She grew up expecting to go crazy. This expectation, coupled with a lack of parenting, drove her to seek love and belonging in impossible places, like sex with strangers and hard drugs (check out my recent interview with Storm for more about her story). Through a series of experiences that might have killed most people (at least emotionally), she realized that she's too big for a small life.
As a person and a performer, Storm is brash, vulgar, funny, and vulnerable all at once -- she'll definitely make you laugh and will probably make you cry. And the way she wields her voice makes just about any other singing performance look like amateur hour.
CRAZY ENOUGH runs through June 30. More details and tickets here.