McFarr, whom you may recognize from her 20-year performing career in Orlando, is at her best when she’s singing, accompanied by keyboardist Christopher Leavy. While her parody lyrics aren’t exactly on a Weird Al level, she belts them out with such enthusiasm and honestly that it’s tough to resist. There’s “Texter’s Lament,” about our cell phone-obsessed society, sung to the tune of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”; a breast implant-themed twist on Wicked
’s “Popular”; and, best of all, “Makin’ Cookies” (instead of “Makin’ Whoopee”), a playful baking-sex analogy. And, yes, we do get a stimulating sojourn into the benefits and drawbacks of the performer’s rather ample bust, but it never feels self-indulgent.
Astonishingly – coming from an ardent fan of the aforementioned anatomy – it was the criticism of our tech-crazed society that resonated most with me. McFarr could definitely use sharper analysis in the vein of George Carlin, but her material still prompted a friend of mine to correctly comment that many fans of Facebook, Twitter and texting might find McFarr’s jabs offensive. My response: good.
The show, which is directed by Brian Childers (with musical direction by Jeff Biering), is dominated in its second half by discussions of dating, body image, gender differences and the struggles of the single woman. Most of it, regrettably, feels too familiar, the original take on the male tampon (the manpon) notwithstanding. However, the infectiously perky McFarr is talented enough to keep things moving.
This shouldn’t be at the top of your list, but it just might give your sagging Fringe schedule that lift it’s been craving.
“Technology, Breasts, and Other World Issues”
La Rue Productions – Orlando, Fla.
Length: 55 minutes
Rating: 18 and up
Let me get something off my chest before getting to the meat of this review. (Cue rim shot.) You get neither breasts nor technology in Dawn McFarr’s one-woman show. What you get is a reasonably entertaining and fairly well-performed, though not particularly insightful, mix of song and stand-up on a variety of sexual and non-sexual issues.