Friday, September 13, 2019

Madeline O'Malley at Elgin Fringe Festival

Snapshots of post-divorce dating, swimwear shopping, colonoscopies and mammograms scroll past you like an Instagram album of life after 40 as Madeline O'Malley knits together humorous personal stories in "This is 40." Which is not to suggest that knitting is something that "older ladies" do.

She is generous with relatable details that her female audience can appreciate, and resists almost all temptation to man-bash in this very funny and obscenity-free show. As a teacher by day, she must be fearless in front of a room full of people, fearless enough to wear white pants after Labor Day.

With a natural delivery free from over-rehearsed stiffness, she makes it look easy to reel off her vignettes and one-liners, so easy that one audience member shouted "you make me want to try stand up!"

She is easy to listen to, and it totally helps when you have original bits like "Spanx for Men," "Two Alexas," and "Buying Weed for Dad in a Home Depot Parking Lot." But beware: you'll see about 50 minutes of material, while sitting in a 45-minute chair. Predose with ibuprofen!

Catch "This is 40" Saturday at 9pm and Sunday 3pm at The Loft of Elements Preserved.

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