The basic concept is a spoof of a self-help seminar. The show is a hodgepodge of solo stand-up comedy, prop humor, musical parody, and audience interaction led by Lisa Faith Phillips in the persona of “Dr. Faith.”
Dr. Faith counsels the audience on the advantages of being a bad girl, despite the fact that society teaches young women that “bad girls die alone of consumption in Paris” or suffer other sad fates. She offers intermittently funny wisdom, such as advising that it’s easy to please Muslim men – “just show a little forehead.”
Lisa Faith Phillips is eager to please the audience, throwing out an array of humor, including some political bits and other topical references. Over time, though, her high-pitched breathy voice becomes a little monotonous and the routine lacks any deeper themes or emotional connection. Since the show itself is not nearly as naughty or daring as you might expect, it falls into the category of moderately tame stand-up comedy that evaporates as you leave the theatre.
Phillips is ably aided by her musical director, accompanist, and composer Ellen Mandel (“Mistress Ethel” who also serves as an occasional comedic partner). Most of the dozen or so numbers Phillips performs are original compositions, but even an ostensibly racy tune such as “The Fellatio Tango” doesn’t really make an impression. Perhaps if Phillips had a voice that was more than merely adequate the musical numbers would have more impact.
7 ½ Habits of Highly Effective Mistresses provides its share of laughs, and the over-thirty women in the audience seemed to enjoy it most. Phillips is capable of clever humor, and perhaps she would be sharper in a more focused routine without the crutches of her riding crop and feathered boa.
- Running Time: 75 minutes
- Tickets: 7 1/2 Habits of Highly Effective Mistresses
- Remaining Shows: Fri, July 25 at 7:45 . Sat, July 26 at 2:30 . Sun, July 27 at 2:30
- Where: Warehouse, 1021 7th Street, NW