Chicago Theatre Review
Carrie Fisher Lives to Tell in “Wishful Drinking”
By Devlyn Camp
When Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli had Liza, a star was born. When Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher had their daughter, star quality was born. A girl, who could have taken it easy after sci-fi fame surprised her, pushed forward into her own kind of enchanting celebrity. Though she sang, wore all black and shot glitter into every nook and cranny of the Bank of America Theatre, Liza she ain’t. Triumphing over the insanities of celebrity parents, drug abuse, her stay with a mental institution and more, Carrie Fisher gladly points out, “If my life wasn’t funny, it would just be true.” And that’s what the wonderful Wishful Drinking is all about.
Fisher’s one-woman show is comedic therapy, a sort of audience-interactive stand-up show for the crazy lady in all of us. Carrie lets her viewers ask her questions about waking up in bed with a dead guy, and she’ll even buy you a drink if she really gets along with you. She’s up for anything, as long as it’s funny. If it’s not, she knows how to make it so. Carrie invites her audience into her wacky, eclectic set like she’s been waiting in her living room for years to tell you her story. Two couches sit between side tables holding nick-knacks and Star Wars toys. It’s warm and inviting, welcoming everyone into Carrie’s living scrapbook, where she tells stories using the upstage screen’s old photos and videos. And yes, she plays Star Wars. And yes, she remembers all her lines.
Former Princess Leia runs around her stage barefoot and wigged telling the whole world all about “Hollywood inbreeding” among her divorced parents who habitually remarried other stars. The woman is a delightful wreck. If you’re looking for Nerd Nirvana, here it is: Star Wars, celebrity pop culture past and present, and hundreds of gays on the edge of their seats waiting for Carrie’s next syllable. For anyone that ever wondered, “What happened to Carrie Fisher?” they can safely say she turned lemons into some delicious lemonade, and Obi-Wan is far from her only hope.
Bank of America Theatre
Now through October 16th
Available at www.broadwayinchicago.com
Contact critic at firstname.lastname@example.org