Review of Oh Susanna

By Bob Evans

Susanna Lee joins Fringe for the tenth time this year with a new show that is a little something different from her usual fare, but familiar enough that old fans will feel at home.OhSusanna

Ms Lee (Lucky DeLuxe to those in the know) is a comedienne, raconteur, wit, and emissary from a world that for most of her audience may as well be another planet. Hers is a world of strip clubs and dives, of L.A. at its strangest and skeeziest. And she comes back time and again to tell us all about it in all the gory details.

This reviewer must confess to being something of a neophyte as far as Ms Lee goes, being about as far from her as it is possible to be, but nonetheless having a surprisingly good time. It may give some idea to readers to mention the fact that Ms Lee single-handedly proved that it is possible for an abortion joke, rather than wholly relying on shock value, to be actually funny. This is not a possibility we had hitherto encountered.

As mentioned before, however, this show is (we are assured) rather different from the usual. Rather than just one gasp-inducing story after another (though there are plenty of those), Ms Lee takes us into her confidence, talking about… well, it’s not our tale to tell. But she brings her audience into her confidence on some very personal events in her life. It somehow changes the dynamic of the show, less a performance for an audience, more a talk between friends. It may well be that this final moment–real intimacy–may get under the skin rather more than any of the previous material, shocking though it may have been. But it is a Moment, and an audience that entered laughing leaves thoughtful and quiet.

This reviewer is not, as mentioned before, one generally inclined toward the world which Ms Lee inhabits, but now we know of her, and are glad of it. We are late in coming to the party, so to speak, but it is worth it to be there.

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