Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Sugar Daddy” by Fielding Edlow

By Joe Straw

Lemonade Productions is presenting “Sugar Daddy” written and performed by Fielding Edlow and directed by Paul Stein at the Lounge Theatre (Lounge 2) through November 20, 2010.

The press notes say, “Wickedly funny, incisive and hip, Fielding Edlow’s comedy chronicles one woman’s epic battle with frosty cupcakes (not vegan), breaking up with Daddy and learning to stand the sound of her own heartbeat.”

That’s sounds interesting.

So what was I doing there? Well I thought this was a good premise. After all, a woman who loves cupcakes and her father can’t be a bad person, ergo a good show. But, just the ideal of someone lusting for cupcakes doesn’t paint a pretty picture either. I had visions of someone 6’ 2”, grossly overweight, and fighting off daddy to boot. Well, okay, this is something I could sink my teeth into. (No pun intended.)

This funny one-woman show is about an hour in length. (Get off the stage before the applause ends.) It is funny, but only if you’re hip enough about pop culture, eating, therapists, and failed relationships. (Okay, so maybe that’s all of us.)

There is an extraordinary amount of truth in what she says and because of this everyone in the audience is having: a great time with certain references, a good time with other references, and a bad time with other references that does not play in this hemisphere.

Having worked with some of the people she references in this production was hysterical! I’m not sure those people would be amused. I won’t mention her name but written in the sand it would look like this K.I.M. B.A.S.I.N.G.E.R.

“…if K.D. Lange had a working vagina.”

Nevertheless, the humor is rip roaring, hip slapping, and eye watering. The ideal age to see this would be 25 to 30 and any age beyond that point would see this as an exercise in silliness.

“You are like Martha Graham if she had a cock.”

Okay, so maybe that’s what she was going for – that age range. But the silliness only carries itself for as long as you can watch a clown juggling his balls, after a while it has served its purpose and unless one is willing to introduce new element things tends to get stale.

Still, she is funny.

… drop kick my pussy…

Briefly, the show is about an actress who hasn’t had a meaningful relationship with a man in 10 years and she needs to explore that possibility with therapist. And she has a number of them. Uh, therapists.

“I’m going to terminate our relationship.”

Her father pays for the treatments because he believes that she needs them, continuously, and forever.

“I love how you take notes.”

And with no job and all this free time on her hands she studies acting and tries to have normal relationship with others who are just as sick as she is. (Not a good ideal to get together when both are equally working hard to resolve mental or addicting problems.)

Personally, I prefer actors who are having a relationship with others on stage, but Edlow is having a marvelous time up there and who am I to rain on her parade. She is witty, funny, extremely bright, pretty, knowledgeable on any topic, and does these “funny” girl things that gets her into a lot of trouble. Edlow moves in and out of these situations, easily. She is in the moment seizing the day but those moments don’t translate into a change in the attitude of the character. The character is the same from the first moment to the last with a few distractions along the way.

Still, she is funny.

Paul Stein, the director, is very able although the focus here is very intangible. Where are we going? What are we trying to say? Why does Edlow fight off her father? Where does all this go? What role does her mother play in her life with her father? There are too many unanswered questions. Also, not sure about the food reference and direction the play is supposed to go because of it.

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