Skitch Tease [FringeTIX]
Liz Skitch @ The Pod
7:00pm, Sun 14 Feb 2010
Liz Skitch takes to the stage wearing shorts, a bra & panties, a short jacket, and stockings. With a look that wavered between mild disgust and mild disinterest, she strutted the width of the stage a few times before stripping.
Yep, it really was that perfunctory. Sure, she conveniently picked up her accordion before removing her top, and she was neatly cross-legged on a stool at the back of the stage before she removed her knickers, but there she was: naked, with just stockings, an accordion, cute curls, and a cheeky grin (she looks much happier now she’s nekkid). All within about 90 seconds of the start of the show.
This girl, clearly, doesn’t mess around.
So – the gimmick has been exposed (or not, so to speak), and all that’s left is Skitch’s comedy. And… well…
Look – I go into shows wanting every performance to be the best thing I’ve ever seen. There’s no point not thinking that, really – otherwise, why should I bother? And so I found myself grinning in support, urging Skitch on… but I didn’t really feel it.
Now, maybe that’s wrong; maybe that’s giving her the wrong impression of the direction she’s heading. But in The Pod this evening, I like to think of it as lending a hand.
See, neither the audience nor I really seemed to respond to her songs about her domineering Mum, or sneezing, or dating advice, or the interminable one about her travels in South Africa. And the chat in between the songs was, well, pleasant, but… y’know.
It wasn’t all so ho-hum, though. She really is delightfully cute onstage, with her squeaky voice and coy looks and occasional searches for the accordion keys. The accordion really is her ally, too, offering her the ability to escape some dead air with a three-note sting. And as she reaches for a drink half-way through the show, she somehow manages to re-cross her legs without flashing anyone: when she points out what she’s accomplished, she rhetorically asks “Have you forgotten I’m naked? I haven’t.”
Towards the end of the show, she asked if anyone in the audience was single; I very reluctantly replied in the affirmative and then, in response to Liz’s babbling about being single herself, started to imagine what it would be like to court her. My hopes were raised when the following song mentioned that she wasn’t into good-looking men. But then, Skitch started expressing how much she wanted to have children and the guttural roar that she emitted – that she claimed was “cluckiness” – scared the living bejesus out of me.
Yes, I had the odd chuckle during the show; but, as alluded to earlier, a lot of the time I felt like I was laughing for her, rather than myself. Because her cheerful grin had a real hint of desperation in it, pleading for acceptance from the crowd of maybe two dozen on Valentine’s Day. But in all honesty, I thought her spruiking prior to the show was actually better than the show itself. Except she wasn’t spruiking naked.
Naked spruiking. Now that would get the crowds in.