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The Magic School Bus: A Traumedy

solo performance · bonnie joy sludikoff · Ages 14+ · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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Review by CHERISE PASCUAL

June 14, 2017 certified reviewer

What I liked

Bonnie has talent in spades – writing, storytelling, performing, prop-making, entertaining, and singing. This show, I felt, showcased all of her attributes. Bonnie makes it look so easy, taking a difficult subject matter, adding a dash of humor, and breaking our hearts a little as we go deeper into her body/trauma – and then she does it over and over and over again, each time we go deeper, she pulls us out with a funny gag or line, and we’re back in again – and everyone in the room was along for the ride – seatbelts or not – we were with her and swept away, inside. The residuals of emotional trauma stay with us – in our organs, our tissues, our hearts and minds – I think worse than physical trauma – which, debatably may be easier to heal from. Bonnie takes us in her school bus of fun and stops at each trauma center in her body. We get just a taste, just the residue of the experiences, but we have enough, and by the end of the ride, we are absolutely blown away. Bonnie’s final song is haunting and beautiful, she gave me chills, made me laugh and cry. I fell in love with her after seeing this show. How could anyone not? We catch a glimpse of her soul and she leaves us wanting more. Oh, an she is adorable with the spray bottle.

What I didn't like

Those damn Fringe time restrictions. Do a 2 hour version, please. Okay, thanks, bye.

My overall impression

This show strikes the perfect balance of incorporating humor/absurdity to navigate through deep emotional territory and serious subject matter. Bonnie takes us in her school bus of fun and stops at each trauma center in her body. We get just a taste, just the residue of the experiences, but we have enough, and by the end of the ride, we are absolutely blown away. Bonnie’s final song is haunting and beautiful, she gave me chills, made me laugh and cry. I fell in love with her after seeing this show. How could anyone not?

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