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San Francisco Fringe 2016

A Cabaret: Maiden, Mermaid, Crone

Olivia Hallie Lehrman, Awkward, At Best, Productions

Genre: Clown, Solo Show

Venue: Exit Theatre


Low Down

“What does it mean to be a woman? Especially one who loves kids, but isn’t making any herself? This bawdy 1-woman cabaret of comedy, dance, & circus explores all forms of the feminine. Prepare for lessons in pleasure, flirting & self-acceptance, from a girl who has always wanted to be an old lady.”



This is a solo show exploring femininity. Olivia Hallie Lehrman performs her solo show using storytelling, direct dialog to the audience, physicality, and clown characters. She is a very compelling performer and immediately engages the audience as she shares her quirky world. Make no mistake about it, Olivia is on a mission to not only entertain but also enlighten. Her bold topics are feminity and feminism. However, this is a fascinating show for everyone, that unfolds sometimes elegantly and sometimes surprisingly. So hang on, and as she says, “Woman up!”

A moment of shadow play set to beautiful music is alluring and graceful as the journey begins. Obama features in voiceovers, talking about female stereotyping – and then we are swept up into Olivia’s smart and funny red-jacketed dance number. She’s a good mover and has an obvious acrobatic and dance background. Comedic moments abound as she gets into and out of different costumes and tells the audience about her history with boyfriends in NYC and why she became a performer.

She works well using her props while speaking directly to the audience, and very sincerely, too. Her eyes project around the audience, as if we are all her friends in this rapidly established rapport. Olivia draws the audience in and then changes the dynamic completely with a very different character or topic – or a mini discussion amongst the audience! For example, with wry humor we learn about what she really wants in life and shares a poignant sweet story – and the next she shows a bawdy side of her humor, literally.

There is an interesting pastiche of music throughout ranging from raunchy, operatic to beautifully melodic. Speaking about music, Olivia performs an excellent clown sketch featuring her older self and a concertina. Each moment is very well worked out and polished, and it would stand up as an individual number in any theatrical clown setting. This single sketch (credited in the program for Creation & Direction by Aaron Tucker & Amy Gordon) is a wonderful example of a solo clown piece and should be seen by everyone interested in or aspiring to create or perform physical theatre or clown.

A Cabaret: Maiden, Mermaid, Crone is recommended for everyone who enjoys humor and physical comedy with interesting themes that make you think, just a bit, and entertains a lot! Last chance to see this show at the SF Fringe: SAT SEPT 17 @ 9:00 PM. EXIT Theatre.