Laura Carson is an honest, sincere and effortlessly engaging performer whose one-person show wafts over you like the familiar scent of the countryside…tainted with the tang of rot-gut whiskey. An account of a recent cross-roads moment in her life when she left the addicting, but often painful life of the Los Angeles acting world for a return to her southern homeland to assist her irascible, soon-too-be ailing widowed father, Laura paints a motion picture of images and sounds(the sound design is brilliant by the way) alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, sometimes at the same time.
Ms. Carson channels the mature, late-70s Carol Burnett at times, indeed I was often reminded of the “Mama’s Family” sketches, particularly the ones where Eunice tried to find understanding in the crazy world she couldn’t understand how she ended up in. Laura effortlessly slips in and out of different vivid characterizations of her increasingly unhealthy, booze-swilling dad, the people who inhabit the medical facility where he ends up and even herself at her darkest hour, a cat, TV, food and bathrobe her only comforts. I was also reminded of “P.S. Your Cat Is Dead,” and how bad luck can transform an individual into a stronger person.
But this is a wholly original and captivating work by a confident performer who understands how to entertai, and how to make an audience smile as well as weep. If you want to sit back and relax in the hands of a confident storyteller this Fringe Fest, “don’t be shy,” as Laura drawls before the show’s opening, stop on by, the trip is worth it!