San Francisco Fringe 2015
Velma, an endearing clown with huge dreams about playing on Broadway – and dating famous stars daydreams away her time. Velma is disarmingly funny as she takes a simple situation and gets so enthused that she gets carried away with it, expressing it in an idiosyncratic Velma way, then pushing it to its limits!
In Denile: A One Woman Clown Show is about Velma, a clown with huge dreams about playing on Broadway – and dating famous stars. She also loves food. While doing shifts at her mundane job she daydreams away her time. Wearing a short red satin party dress and red nose, Velma speaks to her imaginary onstage friend, an image of a movie star. Velma is endearing as she interacts with the audience – it’s easy to empathize with her. She also receives phone calls on stage, which are hilarious! Velma is disarmingly funny as she takes a simple situation and gets so enthused that she gets carried away with it, expressing it in an idiosyncratic Velma way, then pushing it to its limits, even in Italian!
Rachel Resnik plays Velma and is adept at playing with and to the audience through her physical comedy, expressive face, and improvisational skills. She speaks a lot for a clown, but it’s always in character and works well, she asks questions, states her ideas and reacts physically. Resnik is multitalented – at an ‘audition’ she sings a song or two beautifully, there is a trained singer inside, which is a wonderful surprise! She could even integrate more songs because she is such a strong singer. Velma’s comedy comes from within and the situations she gets in, it’s sincere, naive, and a tiny bit flirty, in Velma’s own clown way.
In Denile is a well-produced show, with a very effective music score and use of recorded voice-overs that contribute to the atmosphere and storytelling. Resnik is animated and energetic, spontaneous and sweet as Velma. She runs into the audience to engage, but is not scary or pushy. Velma’s very funny ‘dying’ scene in the audience could benefit from being a bit shorter, depending on the audience reactions, to say what it needs to more economically, it’s OTT (that’s fine) but overstayed its welcome at the performance I saw. Velma is just a dreamer who wants to engage in anything and anyone who is not part of her boring job. Velma has big ideas, she also has a mischievous and spicy side. She’s a clown with an attitude in this very entertaining one woman clown show!