CRYING IN PUBLIC (Fringe review)

publicity image for Crying in PublicFor about the first third of Crying in Public, which is a uniquely humble, autobiographical stand-up routine, I was so into it. Writer/performer Gina Harms’s stage persona is a self-effacing, small-town nerd girl. Harms confesses that, growing up, she wasn’t really clear that a lot of movies are fiction. She would watch Transformers, she confesses, and think, “Oh, I guess that’s what living in a city’s like.” And she reads from her (actual) teenage diary, in which one of her goals is to “have random sex with a guy who never calls me again.” Then Harms launches into the heart of her story, which is about traveling to Thailand and falling hard for an Australian guy named Nick with whom she hooks up. But Harms lets us know from the get-go that falling for Nick and moving to Australia to be with him were both very bad ideas. By giving away the ending, Harms deflates her story’s narrative tension before she’s even set it up, so the bottom starts to fall out of Crying in Public. Even with that misstep, the show might have sustained itself better if her comedic insights were sharper, but the storytelling devolves into “And then this happened.” With some restructuring, Crying in Public could be stronger, which would be great because Harms’s persona, her angle of approach, is very engaging.

At Ballet BC. Remaining performances on September 10 (1:30 pm), 11 (5:15 pm), 14 (9:45 pm), and 16 (8:30 pm). Tickets


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