Outrageous Women's Cabaret 10

Date 9 June 2007 @ 8:00pm Venue Shadbolt Centre

Reviewer Susan Peake

The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts gave equal time over the weekend to both the sexes. Following Friday night’s comedic evening, Men Outragin’, was Saturday’s female equivalent, Outrageous Women’s Cabaret 10.

Beverley Elliott hosted the 10th Anniversary of OWC, kicking off the evening’s entertainment that showcased Vancouver’s funniest women as well as some incredible musical talent. Beverly was delightful – finding humor in women’s everyday frustrations, particularly her hilarious account of her experiences with internet dating. (And I’ll bet more women in the audience related to her trials and tribulations than were willing to admit.)

Emelia Fedi followed with a zany, off-the-wall performance as a clown-like school girl. Her antics were most entertaining and I couldn’t help but imagine that a good shrink would have had a field day trying to sort out her character’s psyche!

Jenn Griffin was next and she struck me as someone who is an acquired taste – her cool, sarcastic bit about waitressing received lots of laughter, but her constant need to feel her own body on stage became slightly disturbing for some in the audience.

Marlee Walchuk completed the first half of the evening’s entertainment with four of her own ballads that chronicled her love life. Her rich, powerful voice complemented these musical narratives, especially the touching number that brought tears to her eyes, about finally finding the right partner. She ended on a cute note with her song, “Every time a friend does well, a little part of you dies.”

Beverley reappeared to introduce the second half of the show with a great song entitled “I’m Mad at Myself” exemplifying the frustrations of a busy woman’s life. Veena Sood, followed as the Maharani – a know-it-all character she has honed and made her own. Maharani orchestrated an audience participation skit that was marginally funny.

This was followed by, hands down, the most incredible performance of the evening. Yvonne McSkimming first stunned the audience with her rendition of “My Pretty Valentine”. Accompanied by her able fingers guitarist, she continued to enthrall the audience with three more equally captivating numbers. She is an amazing vocalist, with the ability to reach deep into the emotional heart of a lyric. She received the one and only standing ovation of the evening, and it was certainly well-deserved.

Christine Lippa rounded out the 2nd half of the show with a routine based on women’s silly footwear. This was done with the help of a floor-to-ceiling white screen and PowerPoint software. She had all the trappings of a great stand-up comedian and would have been better off without all the props and just gone for it on her own. Although I have to admit, her constant reference to the glitzy moccasin – as “fauccasins” was pretty funny.

All in all the event was entertaining – not rolling in the aisles funny, but worth the effort required to get out of the house, drive in the rain to the theatre, and hang out with some funny, fabulous, fearless women.

© 2007 Susan Peake