D’Angelo takes us through the tale of Madame Bovary of which she confesses she’s only read the Wikipedia summary. The show then switches back and forth between dramatic storytelling of the plot of the book and fantastical mime playing off the themes in the story. Each time she returns to her fanny pack of tricks, I was excited to see what new and wacky prop would get introduced to the tale. The mimes, while ridiculous, still kept a sense of continuity with reoccurring movements and concepts pushing the show forward as much as the storytelling moments.
The performance was oddly charming and silly, but the audience for the opening night did not seem to be on D’Angelo’s side. She was working hard to coax even slight snickers out of us. The primary reason was likely the small audience size. Comedy is much more challenging in front of small audiences, and I feel like the small laughs would have been roaring ones if there had simply been more people. Some of the best laughs in the show came when D’Angelo interacted directly with the audience which shrunk the performance space and made the audience more comfortable with enjoying the show along with her.
D’Angelo’s mime is definitely the star of the show, but I kept wishing she had gone for a different style of humour. While there is definitely humour in the contrast of high literature and sexual humour, I can’t help but feel like her talent with mime isn’t used to its full potential when she creates a penis out of a plastic bag or mimes a tapeworm coming out of her bum. These moments are still obviously quite funny, but I wanted the choices in jokes to go in a less obvious direction.
Sabrina D’Angelo is a fantastically talented performer with incredible control over her body. Equal parts fun and strange, this show will definitely entertain. Why Do I Dream? runs from now until the 20th at the Gryphon Theatre.