[2012022] Hardboiled Lolly

[2012022] Hardboiled Lolly [FringeTIX]

Loose Canon Arts @ The Cupola

10:45pm, Tue 21 Feb 2012

Lolly P Jones is a Private Investigator. She’s got a quick mouth, a sharp tongue, and a habit of getting into trouble. Liesel Badorrek (or Liesel Knievel, as the flyer says) presents Lolly as a strong woman who gets results, and puts forth three tales of her Private Investigations.

Lolly’s first case sees her in Nashville, adopting the disguise of a lesbian country-singing waitress in a case that… well, didn’t even really require investigating, really. Sure, Lolly’s fast-paced – and lavish – descriptions painted pretty pictures, but the plotting of this case was extremely linear, and without a decent closure.

The second case saw her hobby of competitive baking get deadly, and four “suspects” were dragged up from the audience – their introductions were funny (especially Olga and Golga, the Black Forrest Siamese Twins joined at the hand), but thereafter they were stuck onstage while she sang a great song (about lard) and clumsily “interviewed” them. It looked like a mighty uncomfortable position for them to be in, and I think that a shuffling of the elements of that section would help things mightily.

The third case saw her in Shanghai, waking up naked with a monkey… something to do with a woman called Chicken Chow Mein and some golden chopsticks. I can’t really remember, because I (and pianist Leonie Cohen) spent a chunk of time incredulously staring – glaring – at a guy in the second row who not only took a phone call, but proceeded to have a conversation for nearly two minutes. Two minutes! I shit you not. Five minutes after he hung up, he figured he’d leave, and bumped just about every empty chair in the place on his way out.

This was a tough, tough show to be in the audience for. Liesel was really putting her all into the performance, and some of her songs are great, full of clever (and so-bad-they’re-good) euphemisms – the chinese menu song, in particular, was pretty filthy. But the decent-sized crowd – maybe fifty-plus people? – weren’t really into it… there were a lot of crossed arms and reluctant claps, and that fucking idiot on the phone. What a dickhead.

But, truth be told, I wasn’t really that into it, either – other things were playing on my mind a fair bit, and some of the cheesy lines were just a little too cheesy, y’know? Still, big props go to Loose Cannon for trying something different, even if it didn’t quite come off this evening. Maybe with a different crowd, if I’d been in a different headspace, this would’ve been more fun.

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