JAN MAREE: HAIRY TODAY, GONE TOMORROW!
15/05/2012 - 19/05/2012
01/05/2012 - 05/05/2012
IN SEARCH OF HER ROOTS*
The “Fever Bitch” is back! With her trademark brutal comic honesty, Jan Maree presents an often touching, very true account of life as a charismatic half-breed in a melting pot world.
Born the daughter of a hairy misogynist Croatian and a Kiwi girl from Central Otago, Jan always felt a cultural failure. In 2011, her underlying heritage issues provoked her to travel for the first time to her grandfather’s birthplace, Mala Duba, Croatia.
HAIRY TODAY, GONE TOMORROW! is her true story of this slightly less-than-epic, but certainly more than memorable trip to find her roots.
Jan brings this brand new show hot off the back of her 2011 triumph, “Fever Bitch”, which saw her become the first female comedian to win New Zealand’s highest accolade, the prestigious Fred Award. The prize money helped pay her way to the UK where, upon performing stunning shows at Top Secret Comedy Club, Covent Garden and at legendary Edinburgh club The Stand, she earned UK representation with Gag Reflex (the same management company that looks after The Boy with Tape on his Face). This year, she takes “Fever Bitch” to the Melbourne Comedy Festival and will return to the UK for the Edinburgh Fringe.
Date: Tues 1 – Sat 5 May. 8.30pm
Venue: The Fringe Bar, cnr Cuba & Vivian Sts
Tickets: Adults $25, conc $22, group $20
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842538) www.ticketek.co.nz
Dates: Tues 15 – Sat 19 May. 8.45pm
Venue: Vault at Q
Tickets: Adults $25, conc $22, group $20
Bookings: 09 309 9771 www.qtheatre.co.nz
*Note: Roots, not root. Though a Croatian man to comb and keep her company might just do the trick! Certainly it would make her father happy, but when has that ever been a consideration?
***WINNER, NZ INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL FRED AWARD 2011***
**WINNER, NZ COMEDY GUILD BEST FEMALE COMEDIAN AWARD 2009**
*WINNER, NZ COMEDY GUILD PRESIDENT’S TROPHY 2009*
*WINNER, NZ INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL BEST SHOW 2009*
*WINNER, NZ INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL BILLY T AWARD 2001*
'Lost and Found' odyssey of self-discovery amuses and moves
Review by John Smythe 02nd May 2012
I do like stand-up that pursues a purpose beyond just being funny because the comedy invariably works better when it bounces off some other objective.
In Jan Maree’s case – and she is a ‘case’ – it’s a search for her roots that drives the narrative. The classic who am I? / where do I belong? / identity crisis syndrome is no less compelling for being as old as humanity itself when a consummate storyteller makes it personal, true and entertaining, which she certainly does.
Her Bobcat-print onesie as a bonus, and there’s a story to be told about that too.
“Born the daughter of a hairy misogynist Croatian and a Kiwi girl from Central Otago, Jan always felt a cultural failure,” the media release reveals. The pitch in the Comedy Festival programme, however, suggests her trip to Croatia – the old Yugoslavia – last October came about “to avoid re-living the embarrassment of the last Rugby World Cup, being ejected from the pub and doing the sinister with a handful of Beroccas.”
But it is the ‘Hairy today, gone tomorrow’ aspect, as per the title, that kicks off her hugely entertaining and surprisingly moving hour at the Fringe Bar. Hairiness is in her genes and on her face by nature, and a horror of ending up like her paternal grandmother has frightened her into the care of a waxologist, the results of which we may happily observe, on her face anyway, even as we relive the defollication process with her.
And it’s her best friend’s decamping to Indonesia for a teaching job that provokes her departure overseas, then the need for further treatment that gets her to Paris. So it’s just a short – if scungy – hop to Split and the opportunity to connect with her aforementioned roots, in the form of her Didda’s (grandfather’s) birth place; a three-hour bus trip away.
There is poignancy and self-confrontation here, as well as a riveting ‘Lost in Split’ sequence that teeter’s on the brink of illegality (you have to be there).
She’s back in Melbourne, to meet with their Comedy Festival people, when the 2012 Rugby World Cup final is on, which provokes her retelling of the disgrace she brought upon herself in Hataitai, back on 2007: one of two anecdotes that find her pantless and us in stitches.
And so to the self-discovering dénouement, culminating in a surprisingly moving embrace of the culture she chooses to make her ‘I AM’. What’s more it allows for an audience sing-along, for those who know it: always a great way to cap a highly entertaining show.
In short, in sharing Jan Maree’s ‘Lost and Found’ odyssey, we are likely to discover /recover some things about ourselves as well: not bad value for the modest admission price.
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