Sunday, September 17, 2017

Elaine Phillips at Elgin Fringe Festival

Elaine Phillips is not the Zingbot you're looking for. Bringing thoughtful humor to her show "No Place Like Home," she uses observations from her extensive travels abroad to touch on themes of privilege, provinciality and "otherness" as experienced by a white American woman.

Elaine Phillips at the Elgin Fringe Festival.

Trained as a teacher, she knows how to stick with a topic for while, using the stage to inform as well as entertain, and you can see the wheels turning in her head as she pauses between riffs. Going from country to country in her set, she has no problem using her own homebody tendencies to set up jokes on wildlife, sunburn, foreign language or cuisine.

Ironically, Sunday's audience seemed to laugh loudest at her personality characterizations and physical humor during a bit on Israel. She's easy to watch, never talks down to you, and no, she's not Jewish.

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