Kathy Najimy’s one-woman show began with excerpts from her many film and television roles, including Sister Act and Veronica’s Closet.
The actress and comedian gives a clever, fast-paced description of the many scenarios that are usually used for one woman shows, which she will not be using, and sings very brief snippets of the songs that she will not be singing. There follows quite a lengthy explanation of her fascination for Bette Midler from an early age till the time she actually acted with the Divine Miss M in Hocus Pocus.
Najimy is particularly entertaining and interesting when talking about her Lebanese family and her upbringing, including a slide-show depicting a family holiday to Beirut that countered the fears and anxieties family members had about going there.
The star’s fans appreciate her not only for her comedic talents, but also because she is involved in many worthy causes, including gay rights, animal welfare, girls’ education in Afghanistan, abortion, and how weight and body image issues affect individuals. In Lift Up Your Skirt, she creates an effective characterisation of an aunty in a sensitive and moving monologue about a woman with a gay nephew and how she comes to understand why he wants the right to marry. She is informative when she reflects on dieting, while also talking about having Type 2 diabetes, then Type 1.
Najimy is a fine comic performer; her patter is rapid-fire, and along the way she comments on important issues that affect us all. Some of the monologues and anecdotes tended to go for a little longer than they should have and – given that she had a skilled musical director accompanying her, she can sing, and it is a cabaret festival – I wish she had thrown in some more musical items and had a little less chat.
For such a seasoned, experienced performer, the show finished somewhat abruptly and a little disappointingly.
Kathy Najimy performed one show only at the Festival Theatre as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
For more stories and reviews, see InDaily’s 2014 Adelaide Cabaret Festival hub.
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