Saturday , May 25 2024
Rachel Redleaf in 'Too Much of a Good Thing' at NYC Fringe 2024
Photo credit: Jessica Frieling

Theater Review (NYC Fringe): Rachel Redleaf and ‘Too Much of a Good Thing’

Rachel Redleaf’s one-woman show Too Much of a Good Thing has the vibe of one of those highly choreographed standup specials that comedians like Colin Quinn bring to television and even Broadway. While Redleaf (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Atypical) is very funny, Too Much inhabits a different plane than shined-up standup.

Redleaf developed a legit Hollywood career playing plus-size roles, yet she makes her distinctive story remarkably relatable. And her onstage personality fizzes with more than enough vigor to fuel a seriously comic, comically serious delight of a monologue that’s as earthy as it is polished.

She frames this “tale of two titties” as dreamlike recollections dressed in fantasy. That frees her to focus on (mostly) the positivity and humor. She makes us empathize with her everyday youthful ambitions and body-image angsts, but also with individual trauma and the perks and pitfalls of celebrity that have fueled (or inhibited) her success as an entertainer.

Rachel Redleaf in 'Too Much of a Good Thing' at NYC Fringe 2024
Photo credit: Jessica Frieling

She does this partly by channeling many voices, whether it’s her Jewish mother, her surgeon, her agent, her boyfriends, or her own body parts. A zippy pace, goofy animated projections, surprise costume changes and outlandish punning spice things up. But it’s her own narrative, and the physical presence to which it’s tightly bound, that tickle and touch most deeply.

To say much more would be to give too much away. Suffice it to report that while you may have seen Rachel Redleaf on TV or film, you haven’t really seen her until you’ve seen Too Much of a Good Thing. And Too Much is a very good thing. It has one more performance at NYC Fringe, on April 20.

About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Music, where he covers classical music (old and new) and other genres, and Culture, where he reviews NYC theater. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at http://www.orenhope.com/ you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at http://parkodyssey.blogspot.com/ where he is on a mission to visit every park in New York City. He has also been a part-time working musician, including as lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado.

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