- Fringe Snips:
written and performed by Courtney McLean
Reviewed by Tim Treanor
The word “normalcy” was invented by the notorious political buffoon Warren G. Harding, who sought to describe how things would be for Americans if he was elected President. Proving that God has a sense of humor, Harding won, ushering in an era of unparalleled corruption. Courtney McLean reinforces his lesson: “normal” is whatever is going on at the moment. “The world,” Wittgenstein once pointed out, “is everything that is the case.”
Courtney McLean’s world is everything that is the head case. Commencing with a disquisition on her own pathological fear of large celestial bodies, McLean tears at breakneck speed through a universe full of colorful characters engaged in activities which, however unusual onstage, should bring a shock of recognition to her adult audience.
“I told her I wasn’t looking for a commitment,” says the male recipient (McLean) of an amorous act made famous by former President Clinton, when told by his female partner (McLean) that she – gasp – loves him. “Maybe I could say…oh, wait, she’s still talking.”
McLean is searingly candid, and so accomplishes the highest moral function of theater: to promote understanding. McLean’s McLean is a bundle of neuroses, just like the rest of us. As a kid, she abandons her friends in the gifted and talented program so that she can march with the flag team at football games. At 24, she worries about her biological clock. She breaks up with her controlling boyfriend, but somehow can’t quit having sex with him. She sweats under the discipline of the gym because of – that damn biological clock.
McLean closes her show with a plea that we love one another. Having been forced to examine our own foibles as a consequence of her fearless examination of her own, it does not seem like such a bad idea. The person sitting next to us is doubtlessly crazy, like McLean, like ourselves, but that’s all right. It’s normal, see?
Normal-C performs at the Warehouse Screening Room, 1012 7th St. NW on Sunday, July 23 at 1.30 p.m.; Thursday, July 27, at 8.15 p.m., and Saturday, July 29, at 10.15 p.m. Tickets are $15 and may be had through www.capfringe.com or by calling 866.811.4111.