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Fifty Shades of Melania

comedy · liana mesaikou · Ages 17+ · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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Review by LARA REPKO

June 22, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

Liana is smart. I hate that word because it is so generic and over-used, but it’s true and you will find this out the moment she (spoiler alert) asks an audience member to scratch the itch on her leg.
One of the many reasons why Liana’s writing is smart and intelligent is that she doesn’t wait for the audience to keep up with her. She spouts out Melania and Trump references left and right and it often takes a moment or two for you to realize, “ah, yes that’s right…Melania did in fact copy Michelle Obama”. I love it when the actor recognizes that we are quick enough to keep up with the writing, and Liana wasn’t lacking in this area in any way.
I loved the music in the transitions. Each song gave you a clue as to what the next sketch would be about.
Also…that music video needs to be put on YouTube and made viral. Genius.

What I didn't like

The stage is right next to the street and you can hear the traffic outside. It was a bit annoying but obviously this isn’t in Liana or the venue’s control.

My overall impression

If you don’t know anything about Melania Trump’s antics you may not understand a lot of the jokes but if you’re like me and madly stalk all the Melania Trump hashtags (#freeMelania, anyone?) then you’ll get the jokes right away. Liana takes on a journey through the many different “shades” of a woman so many of us are curious about. My personal favorite was the Pussy Power one that made us have hope that Melania would be on our side until…(spoiler alert) she takes off her metaphorical mask and says something along the lines of “you really thought I’d be on your side?” or something like that. GAH. That got me and is too, too real whether we want to believe it or not.

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