Friday, July 31, 2009

Fringe 2009 - OOTS - Sure to Cure, Dr. Amelia's Medicine Show

"A stick, a skull, a hat, a jar, and a rope..."

Sigal Shoham

Sure to Cure, Dr. Amelia's Medicine Show

Pay Attention! This is crucial for your health, love and success. I am not a doctor, but I do claim to be one. Losing memory, hearing or underwear? Need money, love or weight-loss? Guaranteed Transformation!

Old-time snake-oil huckster meets new-age self help guru--all in one doctor! She offers salves for all of life's ailments--including her own. Her healer's pitch is punctuated by banjo tunes with sweet melodies and biting lyrics. Forcefully and ironically honest, charming Amelia has something for anyone who's ever wanted things to be different or better.

from Berkely, CA

Now this lady is a hardcore Fringer. She was almost the last show in the door this year (absolute last show in the door honors I believe go to Livelihood, but Sigal I think is indeed the last out-of-town artist in the door). Called up off the wait list out in California with just a couple of weeks to spare, she said yes, and proceeded to get her act ready to take on the road.

I really enjoyed her preview. Her banjo ditty, with lyrics composed of diseases both physical and spiritual, was kind of hilarious. The litany of ailments set to her bouncy melody was as much fun as things like syphilis or sexual dysfunction are likely to get - in song anyway.

Her sales pitch after the song blended together business plans and tantric yoga, and all sorts of other mismatched duets of healing methods and get-rich-quick schemes. Her character is most definitely a modern day snake oil salesperson, but a beguiling one.

Plus, there seems to be a personal backstory lurking around the edges. The stick, skull, hat, jar and rope she kept invoking each seem to have their own special significance to her life. I don't think there's another Mortem Capiendum-style plot brewing - she's up on that stage all alone, after all - but I get the feeling around the sales pitch that more will be revealed.

Between the comedy and the music, this looks like a most pleasant way to spend an hour of Fringing. Definitely consider an appointment with this doctor (just be careful of your wallet.)

(Side note, this is Banjo Show #2 - Fearsome Critter being Banjo Show #1 in this year's Fringey calvacade of banjos. Robin Gillette says there are four shows in the Fringe featuring banjos. If you can name all four, she'll buy you a beer. [No, I can't think what the other two are at the moment. But if you can help me out, I may need that beer later.] Personally, I think the banjo shows should band together out of solidarity and form their own Fringe posse. The banjo, after all, will not be denied.)

Her show page

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