FRINGE 2013: Theatre – Choir Girl – Tuxedo Cat – 4.5K

Susan has a lovely alto voice and a life consisting almost entirely of the obsession of finding a choir to which she can contribute both her talent and her experience. She does after all, come from a long line of choristers and knows the ins and outs of choir etiquette backwards. Unfortunately, Susan’s latest choir isn’t entirely meeting her exacting standards; but their choice of songs is interesting and their accompanist, Greg, is both talented and friendly, so Susan is sticking with it.

This new play from writer/performer Sarah Collins is charming and hilarious. Under the direction of Celeste Cody, Collins injects just the right combination of sweetness, intense obsession, vulnerability and full-blown derangement to create a character that you want to both hug and stay as far away from as possible. Adding to the joy and mania of the piece is the physical appearance of the choir of Susan’s mind; manifesting itself on stage to provide a beautiful, yet disturbing, soundtrack to her thoughts.

The script is polished and the small details about Susan’s life and her clearly unbalanced interpretation of the world are what really bring the piece to life. The choir (Chrissy Robinson, Zoe Dove, Tamuz Ellazam, Jessica Graham, Elizabeth Miller, Aislin Murray, Steph Speirs, Sarah Walker), singing arrangements by musical director Tom Pitts, perform well on both musical and physical levels, providing the perfect backdrop for Susan’s monologue.

Choir Girl is the type of show you hope you’ll find during the Fringe – simple, funny, endearing and of the highest quality.

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