On Tuesday May 22nd, Alice Johnson Boher, one-woman but so much more, played to a sold-out crowd in Silverlake, CA. Directed by Rod Menzies, the production, A Reading from Bitch Trouble, followed two thematically linked stories about the tragic, dramatic - yet somehow hilarious - demise of female friendships. The show contained the bathos of the schoolyard and the existential crises of twenty-something-hood.
The first raucous and harrowing tale, "The Raccoon Dick Bone," as told by Alice in the personas of several different school-age characters, was set in the sixth grade. The story contained tween girl attitudes, the revelations of a pizza party-cum-séance, as well as bittersweet moments between mother and daughter. Not to give too much away, one amusing highlight was Alice's spirited description of a game she and her TVBOF (The Very Best of Friends) played in the local mall, entitled "Tourette's and Keeper."
Her second reading, an as of yet untitled vignette, followed the trials and tribulations of making it as an artist in the big city while dealing with smug relatives, crappy apartments, and "bullshit jobs." Alice explained how she found an unlikely friend in the city (with the help of Craigslist) and how they became an [indoor] "chicken-fighting dream team." The friendship inevitably falters – something about a racy Halloween costume. The word "Smurf," used in all of its various and sundry manifestations, earns Alice bonus points for this uncompromisingly funny tale that comes full circle and ties in with her first story. This Comediva is in the groove.
What distinguishes Alice's refreshing, irreverent brand of humor is her keen storyteller's ability to dissect the human condition -- at the same time causing the audience to laugh its collective ass off. From the description of her adolescent wish to form a band called "Queef Whistle," to facing the music of unwelcome change, Alice covers the bases of the female experience with friendship: the good, the bad, and the bitchy. However, while focused on the bonds between women, the emotions that inspire the comedy are universal -- as evidenced by several gents laughing their heads off.
When asked where the inspiration for Bitch Trouble came from, Alice, who hails from a town in Georgia she describes as "A non-descript exit somewhere south of Atlanta, with an Olive Garden and a Target," says she draws on her upbringing in the South. Perhaps it's the gritty slice-of-life quality that makes Alice's stories poignantly hilarious.
Alice B. is an actor/writer who has been performing comedy since college. This is her second one-woman appearance in Los Angeles. Her first, an autobiographical reading, Saint Alice of Chattahoochee, was described as "Sidesplitting" by the Los Angeles Times.
Check out Alice B.'s next reading of Bitch Trouble on June 18th! Get tickets in advance here and stay tuned for news about her full fall run of the show!
Kristen Bobst is Comediva's ridiculously cool Managing Editor. Among other things, she's a grade-A comedy writer, an unstoppable sock puppeteer, and the world's foremost whimsy aficionado. She certainly believes the meaning of life really is 42; and right now Kristen is really into The Carrie Diaries.