Reviews - Fringe 2009

The Plus-Size Bankruptcy Burlesque Show

By Amanda N. Nesbitt
Published July 19, 2009

Filled with what seems like great potential, The Plus-Size Bankruptcy Burlesque Show is a show about following your dreams and using what you know to get what you want. However, that's where the potential stops and an extremely weak performance begins.

Plus Size follows the mundane life of Angel Ray (played by Lydia DiFranco) who yearns for more in her life than working for a bankruptcy firm. While confident in her role, DiFranco fails to bring any flash or fun to the world of burlesque.

The rest of the cast seems to lack chemistry or any sense of professionalism. Overuse of voice-overs, childish miming and overall bland action and dialogue leaves the audience dead in their seats. Adding to that, this show is full of obvious lighting snaps, sloppy transitions and costume mishaps which results in a very misguided and poorly directed show.

The play tries to show audiences that "if you can do it, I can do it too" and while that message is encouraging for women of all shapes and sizes, it lacks any comedy or heart. It is a series of cheap laughs that no one follows through on and does anything but seduce the audience.

Amanda N. Nesbitt is a McMaster graudate with a double major in English/History and a minor in Theatre and Film Studies. An avid writer/photographer, she thrives being a part of Hamilton's theatre/arts movement and has been very active in the theatre community since 2003. Writing for the Fringe marks her third year participating with this amazing group of people that make up the festival and she hopes you enjoy the shows. Thank you for promoting the arts!


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By Paul D. (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2009 at 14:24:09

I'm just curious as to what day you reviewed it on? I just came back from watching the play yesterday (Monday at 6pm) and I loved it! The audience was cracking up the whole time. I thought it was cute, cheesy and funny. (The sperm at the beginning cracked me up) I've had the chance to see some of the other plays this year and this is still one of my favourites. I really like the fact that they aren't professionals and it looks like they are having a great time up there and not taking themselves too seriously. Loved the chocolate! (I caught one). If you are looking for a light hearted fun play, I suggest seeing this one.

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By emergingmuses (registered) | Posted July 21, 2009 at 22:43:58

Feel free to check out the Ontario Arts Review. I reviewed the show on the 18th.

At least you enjoyed the show though. I also didn't receive chocolate of any kind, so maybe that could have swayed me...though I seriously doubt it haha

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By Blown away by this foolhardy review (anonymous) | Posted July 25, 2009 at 04:45:53

Amanda N. Nesbitt are you sure you reviewed this play? Maybe it was their tech rehearsal? Do you review all shows opening night? Or just the ones you watch with your eyes closed?

It's very sad that you didn't notice that the play in question was not a serious play in any fashion. You might think someone with your degree of theater experience would know that. Maybe you review all plays as if they're drama? Is there is only one genre for you? Humor does not have to be twenty layers deep to be funny.

It's wonderful that you make note of the technical mistakes with the lighting, transitions and such. Once again one might think that someone with your education and experience with the Fringe would know that the lighting is controlled by a fringe volunteer or employee. Maybe you should direct your dribbling wrath at the Fringe staff?

I've seen this show more than once now and I find it enchanting. While the cast most definitely are not professionals, they elicit laughs from the simple goofy jokes, to the intentionally poor one liners. Short, easy-to-miss witty jokes were peppered throughout the show. The show may not raise the roof and cause the crowd to boisterously applaud at the end. But it certainly brings a smile to ones face, with a feel good ending.

Of course, your education and pomp of being a "big star reviewer" may be the real reason your review was so short-sighted and obtuse. Maybe you should stick to the red carpet in Hollywood...or report on fifth grade musicals. Whichever helps you see these shows for what they really are, good old fun and entertainment.

I give the show 4 out of 5 stars for making me chuckle, laugh and smile for an hour. The candy was a plus!
I give this review 5 out of 5 dirty gym socks for it's reek of self importance.

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By A Nonny Mouse (anonymous) | Posted July 28, 2009 at 23:07:21

I think the reviewer was exactly right and extremely fair. ...and I'm not being sarcastic. There's a difference between pleasing your friends (the ones laughing and enjoying themselves) and pleasing the ones who paid to be entertained (the ones sitting with the blank looks and the disappointed feeling in their wallets).

If you're a friend of the performers or crew, you're reading the wrong review. If you were an uninvolved observer, you'll probably agree with Amanda's assessment.

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