Maybe it was the Liza Minnelli impersonation that put me over the edge.
But when I was watching this video trailer for the visiting Fringe show, Skinny Dipping: Not Your Mama's One Woman Show, one of my first thoughts was, "That looks like it might be a really interesting drag show."
Except it's not a drag show. It's a biological woman.
I hasten to add that I consider this a compliment, though I'll grant you it's an odd one.
Perhaps the writer/performer Shanna Shrum has an untapped market - she can franchise. Because after Judy Garland, many old school drag queens (and their audiences) have a real soft spot for Liza (no disrespect to the Beyonce, Celine and Madonna impersonators out there).
As much as one-person, multi-character shows by women often intrigue me, this one had my brain flipping the gender switch in casting and wondering what curious results might occur.
All of which is to say, this makes me curious about Skinny Dipping: Not Your Mama's One Woman Show (though the subtitle clearly has not met my Fringe-going mama).
And I always like to support the visiting artists as much as I can. Plus, Shanna Shrum is one of four acts doing the new Midwest Fringe circuit this year. She'll hit Kansas City before she hits the Bryant Lake Bowl stage. And she's already toured this show of hers last year. Which leads me to believe it's mighty polished and audience-ready by now.
So check out the video, and her website, and see if it might be something you want to add to your Fringe schedule this year when the site goes live with all the information on Thursday.
Here's her gay-friendly press release (Wizard of Oz reference, first sentence - see, it wasn't just Liza).
Shanna Shrum Strips Down and Dives Into
Skinny Dipping: Not Your Mama's One Woman Show!
Chicago, IL (June 8, 2010) -
Twinkies, wigs and a Liza Minnelli tribute? Oh my!
It’s all in funny lady Shanna Shrum’s nationally touring, Skinny Dipping-Not Your Mama's One Woman Show! Prepare to strip down, dive in, and find out what might happen! Because when you’re Skinny Dipping, what MIGHT happen is the best part!
Chicago based actress, writer and comedian, Shanna Shrum, hits the road again with Skinny Dipping-Not Your Mama’s One Woman Show! Shanna pulls out all the stops in Skinny Dipping including improv, audience participation and a dash of cabaret to strip down and bare the souls of six intertwined woman, ranging from a brassy washed up Liza Minnelli obsessed diva to a sweet unassuming handy-woman in love with her gay best friend. With gut busting comedy and heartfelt honesty, Skinny Dipping has it all.
In 2009, Shanna independently produced Skinny Dipping’s first national tour, which made stops in St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago and New York City. Shanna will continue Skinny Dipping with audiences in 2010 at the Kansas City, Minnesota, Indianapolis and Chicago Fringe Festivals.
Not only did Shanna Shrum create a show about, "Finding out what might happen, because what MIGHT happen is the best part." She also took the leap herself by quitting her cushy corporate job in downtown Chicago to sleep on couches and carry 75lbs of wigs and costumes around the country. To her, living life the way you want, not as you should, is what Skinny Dipping is all about.
Skinny Dipping will continue its Midwest Fringe Tour at the Minnesota Fringe Festival and can be seen at Bryant-Lake Bowl the following dates:
Friday, August 6th at 10:00pm
Saturday, August 7th at 5:30pm
Sunday, August 8th at 1:00pm
Thursday, August 12th at 5:30pm
Saturday, August 14th at 7:00pm
What the critics are saying about Skinny Dipping:
“Shanna Shrum channels a series of increasingly complex personalities…with impressively precise and sincere characterizations.”-The Chicago Reader
“One of the top five things to do in Kansas City.”-Brian Mctavish, KC Confidential/KCUR Radio
Tickets are $12 plus $4 admission button and are available at fringefestival.org or call (866)-811-4111
Passes and discounts are available.
To view the Skinny Dipping reel please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw2R5UcQSI8
For more information please visit www.fringefestival.org or www.skinnydippingshow.com
Bryant-Lake Bowl is located at 810 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN