Fringe review: “Am I Pretty Now?” A Musical Romp Through Plastic Surgery


“AM I PRETTY NOW?” A MUSICAL ROMP THROUGH PLASTIC SURGERY by Stephanie Herrera (Herrera). At the Al Green Theatre. July 9 at 10:15 pm, July 10 at 6:45 pm, July 12 at 7 pm, July 13 at 3:30 pm, July 15 at 9:45 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN

Stephanie Herrera’s solo musical show recounts her history with cosmetic surgery. That might not sound like the most sympathetic subject, but Herrera, a gifted comic and singer, wins you over with an autobiographical story that’s filled with emotional truths, self-deprecating wit and sheer chutzpah. Plus, there’s Liza Minnelli as Herrera’s spirit animal.

It’s incredible how much she packs into an hour: the story of her Ukrainian immigrant grandparents her unique parents (her mom was, for a time, a topless dancer, her divorced dad lives in Mexico) her early dreams of stardom and how marriage and motherhood affected them and then the surgeries themselves.

Director Conrad Coates stages the scenes with maximum theatricality, and Herrera often plays out scenes while interacting with accompanist Donald Guinn.

Her timing, both in delivering a joke or a song – classics like Make ‘Em Laugh to a reworded My Funny Valentine – is incredible. And while there are lots of jokes – a gag involving iPhone’s Siri brought the house down – what makes the show special is Herrera’s honest look at herself, perceived flaws and all.

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