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Fringe Review: Rachelle Rachelle

By Jennifer Cavanagh on June 17, 2022

Rachelle Rachelle
Created by Rachelle Rachelle
Produced by Crowning Monkey (Ottawa)
60m | M | Comedy
Content warnings: Mature Language, Sexual Content

A comedic journey to now

Rachelle Elie bursts on to a small stage all glamour and glitter, bringing her latest blend of stand-up and storytelling in Rachelle Rachelle. The performance shares her personal journey, through coming of age in the 80s in a strict Haitian-Quebecois Catholic household to becoming a performer, wife, parent, and now hitting her 50s. The title is a throwback reference to a Seinfeld skit where the eponymous Rochelle undertakes an erotic voyage, signalling that Rachelle Rachelle too will not shy away from the ribald and raunchy. Elie is a charming, irreverent and warm performer who easily wins over the small opening night audience by engaging directly with the willing and drawing them into the act.

Accompanied by an off-stage DJ and a small tabletop of props, she blends personal anecdotes from her past and present to musical performances. She’s a straight shooter intermingling her personal story to punchlines on the mundanity of marriage, the outdatedness of heterosexuality, the evolution of porn, the power of sex and showstopper tunes like “50 and Fucking.” The humour works especially well when merged with simple truths such as the dichotomy of both owning your past while being unable to fully share it. There is such natural mirth in any attempt to provide strict parenting guidance alongside the strange bedfellow of a semi-illicit past.

There is nothing totally novel in the content tackled, but Elie’s honesty and personal lens make what is old new again. Her unabashed humanity is a springboard providing a unique chronicle on eternal and universal themes. Elie’s accomplished acting and showmanship alongside her energetic charisma produce a relatable and refreshing night of comedy.


Rachelle Rachelle by Rachelle Rachelle is playing at BYOV – Atelier (2 Daly Avenue) until June 26, 2022. Tickets cost $12 online (plus a $2 processing fee) and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at https://apt613.ca/category/festival/fringe/.