Even though I admire the work that goes into them, I am not usually a fan of a one person show.
If you think about it, if that one person is not entertaining, no one else will be coming on stage to steal the show. There’s also been many where it just seems like a comedy routine stretched into a longer set with a peppering of plot to make the long set justified.
Lately, though, I’ve been uncovering a lot of solo acts that have won me over have opened my eyes to giving these productions more of a chance. Last year, I remember that Bette Midler and Michael Urie swept me up in their one person New York productions. So much so that earlier this year, I tried a more intimate local show with Marga Gomez and walked away a fan of that production as well.
Now we have Kat Evasco vying for our attention in a show with a title that won me over immediately.
“Mommy Queerest” is a one woman autobiographical story of Evasco’s coming out to her mother who herself is in the closet.
Evasco’s tale, co-written and directed by John Caldon, is a comedic journey that touches on growing up a gay Christian Filipina lesbian who was the victim of sexual abuse. “This is very much a mother-daughter coming out party, which is why I believe the show has a very unique perspective,” Evasco says.
The 75 minute show covers a lot of ground and Evasco is excited that it made its world premiere in the Bay Area, opening this past weekend. “My mother came from Los Angeles opening weekend and is incredibly supportive considering I expose a lot of the bones in her closet,” she says.
While it’s Evasco’s story, she is excited to collaborate with Caldon, who introduced her to biographical theatre. “This being my first time writing a full-length play, John led me through hours of interviews and listened to all my stand up material before we started working,” she explains. “His knowledge of dramatic form and structure, and wild ideas for how we could push the envelope, keep things fresh and fun, and avoid being overly literal or sentimental, really contributed to the play's shape and style.”
Evasco is excited by this new venture and all her stand-up routes such as in the SF International Comedy Competition or at the San Jose Improv and Purple Onion have helped her hone her craft.
As to whether she has a favorite moment in her show, she says, “Aside from getting into a fight with myself on Jerry Springer, I love bringing to life all the amazing women who have shaped my journey and being able to see the world from different perspectives.”
“Mommy Queerest” runs Fridays and Saturdays through March 29 at San Francisco’s Exit Studio at 156 Eddy Street. Some dates are already sold out, so best to act now. For tickets and more info, go to www.theexit.org.