Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Fresh and Funny Renegade Princess

Review By Paola Hornbuckle
Renegade PrincessThere is something exhilarating about a highly intelligent woman with an absolutely great sense of humor and wonderful comedic timing. If she is world-travelled, studied at Harvard, a single mother and a successful career woman, as well as a playwright, then there is even more material for her hilarious one woman show. Renegade Princess by Anne-Marie Houghtailing played two nights (Jan 20 & 21) at the Tenth Avenue Theatre in San Diego to sold out crowds and I have not laughed so hard at a theatre production in a long, long, long time. How refreshing to see something fresh, relevant, and deadly funny. Like the best friend who can crack you up, you are just waiting to see what she will say next.  Houghtailing relates funny stories about her life like: being pregnant in Japan, giving birth to her first child while her husband was in his final exam week of his first year of law school at Harvard, working as The Peppermint Princess in children’s functions, and being a single mother strapped for cash. One sits in the audience and asks, “Can someone’sAnn Marie Houghtailing - Renegade Princess life really be THIS funny?” I could completely appreciate and most of all - relate - to her experiences of being a new mother, “Michael and I said very little because sleep deprivation had lowered our IQ.” Her stint as a Peppermint Princess for a children’s party soon turned into a feminist manifesto when she told the little girls that, “Someday the prince will not come. So go to graduate school, travel the world, and make your own money!” Where so many female comedians bemoan the lack of a man in their lives or go on about relationship issues, Anne Marie “got married, got divorced, and lived happily ever after” and it shows. Her humor never sinks into cliché – unless you count her dogs sinking hindquarters, “I looked up and saw that my dog’s ass was falling out.” After paying for her dog’s prolapsed rectum she could soothe herself in times of trouble by the fact that at least “her ass wasn’t falling out.” Her dog’s ass problems were the part of the play I laughed the hardest. There were some serious moments of course, like her son’s illness and her financial woes, and they added just the right amount of gravitas. Still, she gives you just enough depth to leave you wanting more and more humor than you can handle.  I highly recommend Renegade Princess - she just might put a little joy into your night.  To see Ann Marie in her New York production of Renegade Princess, click here.

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