Everybody has a monster. You can’t get rid of it, you just have to learn how to deal with it. That’s the crux of Jaime Andrews’s semi-autobiographical tale of growing up as a ne’er-do-well suburban youth alongside her cheeky but sinister Monster.
Andrews, who penned the script, shines as Cookie, a role she was literally born to play, masterfully making the switch from young child to teenager, playing comic foil to her own inner demon. And Scott Leggett as the Monster manages to pull off a great deal of empathy for his anti-sidekick, sometimes as a deviant scamp, sometimes as a brutal source of self-destruction, collecting mementos from all of Cookie’s ill-gotten childhood victories.
Andrews and Leggett have excellent chemistry and fantastic support from the ensemble cast who all switch roles throughout the show. Erin Parks and Peter Fluet seemed to get the best bits, but the whole cast was so on point, I only wish they all had meatier parts to play.
Director JJ Mayes pulls it all together, powerfully mixing the child-like overtones with the sometimes uncomfortable confrontations and situations that fall upon Cookie along the way.
Sometimes stirring and often hilarious, “Cookie & the Monster” is already shaping up to be a highlight of the Hollywood Fringe.