After watching, the Off-Off Broadway play, Renegade Princess, I’ve come to the sad conclusion that I have lived a pretty boring, drama free life. Ann Marie Houghtailing’s one-woman show is poignant, hysterically funny and always interesting. Her dry humor is a cross between Diablo Cody and Tina Fey. This small woman fills up the stage and her voice has the power of conviction of someone who has a story to tell.
This autobiographical show takes us from Japan to the Boston, to California in a world wind of sharp barbs and observations about different societal norms. As she says in the opening about being pregnant, “I can say that my baby was ‘Made in Japan.’” The first 15 minutes is all about her experiences being a pregnant woman in a strange country.
After her time in Japan, they take on the ultimate challenge – attend Grad School as new parents to a baby who would not sleep. This done with light humor, but there’s an undertone of seriousness in her voice as she describes how hard this was for her and husband.
While sometimes outrageous her stories always have a ring of truth to them. Throughout the 75-minute show she never comes across as angry or bitter. She handles the difficult subject of her divorce by simply saying, in a matter of fact way, “We just grew apart.”
Ms. Houghtailing’s time as a divorced mother of two in California is filled with humor, sadness and regret. She goes into a funny story about being a live banquet table “head,” and a fake sex teacher. For 60-minutes this show moves along at a brisk, breezy clip, but then it takes a weird dramatic and really sad turn as she talks about how she felt like she neglected her kids.
Renegade Princess is a fun night on the town and recently completed a successful 10 night run at Stage Left Studio, it was announced that she will be returning sometime in the Spring.