Fringe review: How To Be FEARLESS! (With Roxy Roberts)

HOW TO BE FEARLESS! (WITH ROXY ROBERTS) by Ali Joy Richardson (Binocular Theatre). At Bell Tower Coffee (240 Avenue). July.


HOW TO BE FEARLESS! (WITH ROXY ROBERTS) by Ali Joy Richardson (Binocular Theatre). At Bell Tower Coffee (240 Avenue). July 7-8 and 11-15 at 8:30 pm. See listing. Rating: NNN

This solo show satirizes the over-the-top, evangelical gusto of motivational speakers, so its surprisingly fitting that its staged in the cafe of the 136-year-old Church of the Messiah.

The play is set up as a 45-minute life coaching seminar hosted by Roxy Roberts (writer Ali Joy Richardson), complete with PowerPoint slideshows and video testimonials from previous students. Throughout the show, Roxy teaches us ineffective but funny self-defence techniques against leering men at Starbucks or attackers on the street, which she encourages us to try out on the person sitting next to us. (Warning: shy folks might not enjoy some of the audience participation, but at the show I attended it brought out some of the biggest laughs.)

As Roxy, Richardson bounces across the stage like a hyped-up preacher, a shtick that feels repetitive at times. She’s best when Roxys on the verge of a nervous breakdown, unraveling the reason why she became a motivational speaker to begin with.

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