– Judy Elkind
Last night I went to see the lovely and talented Miranda Sings perform her solo show at the Brava Theater in SF, put on through Live at the Rrazz Room. And as always, Miranda was nothing less than fantastic. I know what you’re thinking: exactly how so?
Well, the show began with Colleen Ballinger taking the stage announcing that Miranda would be out in a minute, and then proceeded to open with Miranda’s favorite song: “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, of course. So the song began, and when the musical break arrived Colleen kicked of her heels and hustled into the trademark red sweat pants and button down shirt. Standing in front of the mic dressed to kill with bobby pins in place Colleen raised red lipstick into the air and applied. With those larger than normal red lips Miranda took action. Perhaps the most impressive thing of this all is how Colleen instantly transforms into Miranda, and with little exception, refuses to break character.
So the show goes, with an opening story about Miranda’s first time singing as a baby. Since as she describes it, she has always been famous, it’s just people didn’t always know it. A tribute to Chicago with a little “Cell Block Tango” and an enlightened story about the relationship of St Patrick’s Day and Easter, with Jesus being reborn as the beloved bunny, rounded out the night.
A unique aspect of the show that really set it apart was the audience participation, and I mean that in two ways. For one, select fans were chosen to be part of the show in both prepared sketches and an impromptu chubby bunny challenge. But the real fun was simply how engaged and responsive the crowd was all night. Because yes, when Miranda sang her classic cover of “California Gurls” she had the whole audience waving their arms back and forth like in a stadium-sized performance.
Incorporating video was another great touch, as Youtube is, after all, at the heart of this character. Not only did we watch some great Miranda blogs and music videos, but everyone’s favorite hate mail segment did not disappoint. I’d have to say the highlights there involved the misspelled words, multiple mentions of ear cancer, countless bleeped words, and one comment about Miranda failing to sing “like a strong Black woman.”
It was a great night, and even when a joke wasn’t being said outright, simply hearing the token Miranda mispronunciations with her awkward expressions, dance moves and casual mentions of home school and relatives, was enough to garner laughs. To top it all off Miranda waited at the end of the show to take pictures with all audience members willing to wait in line (aka, pretty much everyone).
So with that I give a big TADA to Miranda and most certainly to Colleen Ballinger. Hope to see you back in SF.