At the Festival Fringe, 2012, American actress, Sandra Thomas portrayed Judy in an intimate portrait of the tempermental, troubled superstar, in “The Property known as Garland.” I was fortunate to see this 5 star performance which captured the true “punch, pathos and personality of the Diva herself.”
“Macaroni on a Hotdog”, written and performed by Sandra Thomas, is a multi-layered, time-travelling, romantic-comedy-tragi-drama, based on true events, which makes it even more entertaining.
The facts: Sandra bought, on impulse, a white wedding dress for $15 in a charity shop. She wasn’t actually getting married, but the dress was too gorgeous to resist. She then attended a family wedding which turned out to be an absolute disaster.
So with the ideal frock and an extraordinary story to tell, she had the perfect material for a comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe!
In any solo performance, the reason why an actor is standing on stage addressing the audience needs to be a plausible scenario.
First we meet Lisa, in her flower-embroidered wedding dress, describing the unfortunate consequences of an unexpected heatwave during her wedding ceremony. We, the audience, are school pupils listening to how her Big Day led to criminal proceedings. A warning to us all!
But Lisa’s tale of woe is no simple monologue. Over an hilarious fifty minutes, we meet various members of her rather dysfunctional family and friends in this small Minnesota town. With just half a dozen wigs, two wedding dresses, a hand-knitted pink sweater, flowery apron, suit and tie, Thomas switches roles in an instant to become, amongst others, Shurlene, the sassy, sequin-jacketed Country and Western Wedding Singer, Pattie, a naive, pregnant teenager and Raphney, a kind-hearted senior citizen at the Lutheran church.
Their personal experiences relate what happened from different perspectives on that fateful day, 1st July, 2010. Our own role changes too, from wedding guests to a Community group in the church hall.
Each character - costume, voice, dialect and eccentric personality - is meticulously brought to life with such authenticity. Anecodotes about family rivalry and cheating love affairs are told in a series of dramatised sketches spanning a few decades.
Realistic recorded extracts depicting Radio news reports and telephone calls to 911 add to the colourfully, comic yet painfully truthful narrative.
The best way to describe it is like a marvellous mash-up between Garrison Keillor's “Lake Wobegon Days” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”
Sandra Thomas is a natural comedienne with pin-sharp observations, sardonic wit and inventive storytelling. The quirky, madcap capers of Lisa’s kooky family creates a fresh, original, sitcom drama worthy of a radio or TV series.
7–29 August, 2015, 11.35am (not Sundays). £8 (£6)