Who’s Your Mommy?
by Rachelle Elie
50 min / PG / Comedy / Solo / Standup
Rachelle Elie, known for the purposes of this show as “Lady Rash,” is a fringe veteran. Her previous show, Sh!t I’m in Love with You Again, earned positive reviews from Apt613. Her work blends stand up comedy with self-reflective storytelling, and she has the combined instincts of a comedian and a trained actor, able create something halfway between a solo fringe performance and a stand up comedy set. Elie has a new show this year, and while it isn’t a departure from her previous work, she seems to be moving in a new direction.
Who’s Your Mommy? fits perfectly into her canon: it is a reflection on parenting and middle age that navigates life’s strangeness with wild-eyed, childlike abandon. Punctuated by liberal repetitions of the phrase “you guys,” Elie’s jokes swerve between the cartoonish and painfully true. Her timing is on, and her jokes are honed.
Unlike her previous shows, Who’s Your Mommy? is primarily a stand up performance. It features neither set nor costumes, and only modest musical accompaniment. Elie’s comedy is strong enough to support this, delivered quickly with absurdist turns.
Elie’s comedy is strong enough to support this, delivered quickly with absurdist turns.
But the venue, a cavernous room in Knox Presbyterian, seems unsuited. The raised stage and the hollow acoustics had an alienating effect, making a show that seems designed for a basement comedy feel out of place. Elie mostly overcame this by talking directly to the audience, singling out individuals and bringing them into the act.
Despite the venue, Elie’s comedy remains relevant, striking a healthy balance between the longer-form storytelling of some of her previous works and quicker, punchline-based comedy.
Who’s Your Mommy? by Rachelle Elie is playing at Knox Presbyterian Church (120 Lisgar St) until Sunday June 23, 2019. 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 apt613.ca/fringe.