The Booby Prize
nytheatre.com review by Ethan Angelica
August 14, 2011
Boobs. They are a staple of Fringe Festival shows across the country. They are perhaps the ultimate, and often most problematic, accessory. And, of course, they are the source of joy for some, and anguish for others. Thankfully for us, however, Lizzie Czerner has turned her anguish over her particularly large physical attributes into comedy in her rollicking one-woman show, The Booby Prize at FringeNYC. Her show is a blazingly fast hour of laughs, physical comedy and more euphemisms than I can count.
Czerner, wearing a too-tight dress that shows her off, takes us through the tales of her love life as dictated by “the twins,” and the trials and tribulations she has endured because of them. Upon first appearance in those awkward tween years, and Lizzie's initial, strong objections (“Do I have three heads?”), her mother instructs her, “You're gonna learn to love them, mark my words,” and, as the stories continue to flow, she does. While feeding popcorn to a field of pigeons and sipping from a Double Gulp, she regales them (and us) with stories of the college boys who stared, the love who sketched and left, the parties, the dates, the DL buddy she fell for and fought to lure into something more serious, and the nice guy she's “not really stalking.” All of this moves at a break-neck speed, with just enough time for you to catch your breath between laughs.
The show sometimes skews more towards standup act than one-woman show, and Czerner often brushes off major emotional turning points with a quick shtick instead of using them to help propel the piece forwards. It is a very courageous act to stand in front of a room full of strangers, “girls” out front, and detail loves lost and injustices endured. The few times that Czerner breaks the joke, even for a brief moment, she is spellbinding. It is these moments that are the most engaging in the piece, and they help make the show more than just a string of funny ways to say “breast.” Add to this charming honestly her extraordinary energy, remarkable spunk, perfect comic timing and “rubber” face, and it becomes clear that Czerner is a comedienne at the top of her game. The show was a hit of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, and it's no surprise. With her enthusiastic storytelling, it's hard to leave when she's through.
Directed by Jeffrey Wylie, The Booby Prize is a playful tale about loving yourself and all that comes with you and, in Czerner's very capable comedic hands, it's a charming delight. From her most tender moments to her most outrageous shtick, she reminds us to embrace whatever we have been given, even when it seems ridiculous.