Fringe Review: Adventures of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl14 July 2015 / by Sara Cristiano (author)
Sequels are often disappointing, but the audience members attending the July 6 performance of Rebecca Perry's "Adventures of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl", a follow-up to her previous show "Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl", were definitely far from disappointed.
In "Adventures of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl", Perry - the writer and star of the one-woman show - takes her character Joanie Little to the jungles of Tanzania. Joanie explains that she, along with three other interns, has received the opportunity to work and study alongside famous anthropologist Jane Goodall. Not everything goes as Joanie originally hope or planned, but she ultimately learns to make the best of the dry African heat and ends up accepting an offer to work as Jane's assistant.
Perry is clearly at home playing Joanie - the character's relentless optimism and enthusiasm come through loud and clear during the show, and her upbeat, sometimes sarcastic sense of humour keeps the audience thoroughly engaged. It's also important to note that Perry not only plays Joanie, but effortlessly and effectively takes on a series of other characters ranging from a monkey to Joanie's tall Irish tent-mate to Jane Goodall herself.
Perry's musical performances were superb as well- her rendition of "Don't Rain On My Parade",for example, though brief, was powerful, energetic, and filled with passion. The live musical accompaniment from Da-Rell Clifton and Quinton Naughton also gave the show a slightly less polished, more raw sensibility - something to be expected for a show about exploring the jungle.
My only complaint is that I would have liked to see more of the minor characters that Perry introduced, notably Joanie's two fellow interns Chris and Miku. Overall, "Adventures of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl" is an enjoyable and fun-filled show from a writer and performer who will surely continue to find success in Toronto and beyond.