I will open this post with a Jedi mind trick: You will go see Carrie Fisher’s “Wishful Drinking” on Broadway. Now.
I thought I knew what to expect as we made our way to our seats on the first night of previews. I read the book version of “Wishful Drinking” and had a sense of the story we were about to witness played out on stage. In “Wishful Drinking” the book, Carrie Fisher talks about her family. Her friends & lovers. Her career. Her drugs. Her mental illness. Her ECT. Oh, and Star Wars.
In the show, however, Carrie Fisher the writer/actor/Princess of Alderaan, has an energy and comedic timing that the book simply cannot convey. She talks about her FAMILY, with the help of a visual aid, which feels like a set of vintage Hollywood trading cards. Everyone from Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are a part of her collection. Her FRIENDS & LOVERS, including Paul Simon and Bryan Lourd. Her CAREER. Her DRUGS (ok, there were too many things I could have linked to on this one, so I went with the most recent). Her MENTAL ILLNESS. Her ECT. And STAR WARS. I resort to using caps when describing these things because Fisher’s life is big and bold and she lives it big(ly) and boldly. It’s also scary, joyous, painful, and funny as hell. She manages to strike a delicate balance between all of these emotions and delivers her story with warmth and a welcomed sense of nostalgia. She makes a life that sounds so outrageous to all of us also seem so accessible.
It cannot be denied that Carrie Fisher is a great writer. But it must not be forgotten that she is an equally great performer. In “Wishful Drinking” she truly is her STORY. And what a f*cking story it is.
You can find “Wishful Drinking” (somewhat ironically) at Studio 54 (till January 3rd, 2010) or on the bookshelf of your local bookstore. You can also find Carrie Fisher (and her bad-ass humor) on Twitter and blogging on her website.
Disclaimer: If you go to the show, be prepared for big time audience participation. Think Blue Man Group-type participation, but with words, cursing, and a sex doll. Ok, not at all like Blue Man Group.