Featuring: Ann Randolph
Directed by: Joshua Townshend Zellner
Running time: 70 minutes, no intermission
When: 5 p.m. Saturdays, September 12 through October 17, 2015
Where: The Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia Street at 22nd Street (Parking at New Mission Bartlett Garage, 21st Street between Mission & Valencia; nearest Bart Station is 24th & Mission)
Tickets: $20-$100. Visit www.themarsh.org or call 1-415-282-3055
Ann Randolph in 'Loveland'
combine in meaningful, one-woman show
Ann Randolph is busy this fall, with two shows running concurrently at The Marsh San Francisco. The first of these, a gem called "Loveland," will have audiences falling head over heels with her during the first five minutes as well as promising themselves tickets for her other show, "Inappropriate in all the Right Ways."
As a performer, Randolph brings an electric freshness that is too often missing elsewhere. This electricity infects the audience so much that watching others process what's happening on stage becomes part of the fun.
During this 75-minute, one-woman show, Randolph becomes Frannie Potts, en route home from her mother's cremation, with the ashes in the overhead bin.
Pott's outsize personality would put her on a collision course with fellow flyers under the best of circumstances, which this most certainly isn't.
While there's just no room in coach for her brand of abrasive over-the-topness, this performance makes it easy to see why her work has been likened to that of the late Gilda Radner.
However, Randolph unexpectedly pivots to occasionally infuse Frannie with a very un-Radneresque sweetness and tenderness, whose occasional pronouncements will have people scrabbling for a pen (she had me early with "grief is beauty formed from loss").
The distance between these pronouncements and her irascibility make Potts (who's as plain-spoken as her name) particularly effective. With the obsessive willfulness of one who has lived alone too long, she reserves a particular venom for those dilettantes who trade in the tokens of an experience over the real thing.
"One shouldn't be afforded the view without the journey," she sniffs.
And then there's her curious relationship with Whole Foods, which occasioned the observation that "Namaste sounds like ‘fuck you,'" when you're escorted out.
Ultimately, this insistence on keeping it real forces "Loveland" to its conclusion, bringing her back to the events that prompted this flight to begin with. All shows are followed by a short workshop on grief and writing.
Email Cy Ashley Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org