The Duchess & the Stripper

ensemble theatre · david bosley · Ages 18+ · includes nudity · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by MATT DUGGAN

June 15, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

The acting was superb; the direction serves the piece well; and the writing is a joy to listen to. Alli Miller really delivers on the burlesque, an added treat! I love that Wallis Simpson (with some liquid courage) steps out of her comfort zone to give it a try too. It was a great moment in the show.

What I didn't like

Aah, I got nothing here. It’s a perfect Fringe show.

My overall impression

This show is a total treat. Theater exactly how I like it: no frills, no unnecessary spectacle, just great writing and great acting. You see this show for the sharp banter and character-revealing, and especially the acting. Blaire Chandler is stunningly good. What a gem. She evokes emotion and moments with a touch of her pearl necklace, or a posture, or a flick of the eyes. Honestly, I could watch her read aloud from a dictionary. And Wallis Simpson’s royal (she wishes) demeanor is perfectly matched and contrasted by Alli Miller’s no bullshit no putting on airs stripper Blaze Starr. Miss Miller is fearlessly confident as she struts, changes wardrobe, and fires zingers at her stranger friend. These two women hail from different universes but find startlingly refreshing common ground as the story unfolds. And Krista Conti delivers perfectly-timed comedic interludes. She had me howling. I’m so glad I had a chance to see this show. Kudos to David Bosley for this smart and imaginative piece and to the director , Ezra Buzzington, who wisely centers the play on the actors; they’re given enough action to keep the moments charged and moving, but mainly he just lets them do their thing. And that thing is some really fun theater.

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