Abigoliah Schamaun @ The Tuxedo Cat – Blue Room
8:45pm, Thu 10 Mar 2011
I love the self-effacing pitch of Fabulous Abs – Abigoliah (yeah, I know… amazing name, right?) aims “to be the perfect vegan and pious sage, while living her reality of being a fast-food-eating, TV-watching jezebel.” That sort of approach is so wonderfully appealing to me; it tells me that she’s a comedian who accepts her own limits without judgement. Although “jezebel” could be considered a judgemental word. And, after seeing her appear on the opening night of Marcel Lucont Etc., I figured Fabulous Abs would be a reasonable part of my All-Tuxedo-Cat Day.
Abigoliah Schamaun has a really nice stage presence; she carries a bundle of enthusiasm, a lovely US accent, and ticks a fair number of “quirky” boxes (hey, she’s a yoga instructor! and a stand-up comedian!). And whilst there’s a lot of good ideas in her act, they seem to lose something in the telling – and unfortunately, in the world of stand-up comedy, that’s a bit of a bugger.
So while hearing a repeat of the menstrual blood episode (as heard in the Lucont appearance) still raised a smile, it didn’t get a guffaw. And there’s short snippets which delight – “I start the day with hope and wheatgrass and end it with tears and butter” – but too often they’re followed by material that drags. And when a large amount of Abigoliah’s material is based on sex & occasional lesbianity (with the rest coming from her search for health), material that drags should be the exception, rather than the rule.
There was a reasonable crowd in this evening’s show, but they weren’t won over. And I’m genuinely sad when I feel a comedian struggling against a sullen crowd… but I really struggled to show my support with audible laughter. But I know Abigoliah is brilliant in a short blast; maybe the material was just too thin.