Reviewed by Cameron Kelsall
We seem to have reached a new plateau in the history of American entertainment: the blog-to-stage adaptation. Elisa DeCarlo, a worshipper at the temple of haute couture, has turned her online style confessional Diary of a Mad Fashionista into a brief but engaging theatrical piece, currently being presented by the Frigid Festival. Over the course of an hour, we are given a picture of the eponymous guru as a kind of dictator in Dior, firing a young assistant (the amiable Shannon Sutherland) for wearing a polyester dress from the seventies and dreaming of her impending reality show, affectionately titled You Have No Taste. But we are also able to come away with a portrait of the person behind the persona: zaftig, bitter, and frequently insecure, she uses her reverence for clothing to dress up some of the real problems in her life. Ms. DeCarlo is able to negotiate the delicate balance between her larger-than-life character and its creator, searching for answers to life's more important questions through the philosophy of frippery, and Ms. Sutherland shines in a host of small roles. She also benefits from having the best bio line currently in New York, announcing to the audience that she "was born in Kansas but decided to leave when her fellow classmates made fun of her fabulous Betsey Johnson dress."
Diary of a Mad Fashionista
The Red Room (85 E. 4th Street)
Remaining performances: 3/4 at 9; 3/7 at 10:30; 3/8 at 10
Running time: 1 hour, no intermission
According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.