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True Stories

Faye Lane captures the charm of her Texas roots in "Beauty Shop Stories"

By Bethany Trottier / Jester Correspondent

Go and see this show all you jaded souls! If I ever wanted someone to write and sing the story of my life, Faye Lane would be that person. In "Beauty Shop Stories," which returns this month to the Soho Playhouse, she conveys her story in a way that is both genuine and amusing. Even though this show is super-polished, it is still very spontaneous and alive. This woman could write lyrics about anything, and it would be funny and clever.

Lane sings and chats her way from her childhood years through her early 20s as she grows up in her mama’s beauty shop in Texas. Throughout the journey, she recalls the personalities and anecdotes of her mother’s clientele, all lined up under the dryers, her first (albeit captive) audience and her dreams of being a star.

The moment she hit the stage, Faye was off and running and the audience was right there with her. We got to hear about her first starring role in “Peter Rabbit,” the musical. She had the part of a green bean in the garden, which she made all her own by going nuts with a bedazzler on her costume and declaring herself the “Green Bean Queen!” (This girl really likes sparkles, come to find out. I believe it’s a Texas thing.)

She is relentlessly teased for being fat, all the kids joining in singing “fatty fatty two by four, can’t fit through the bathroom door!” Lane does the voice of one of her mama’s customers saying “honey, you ain’t fat you are vo-LUMPT-uous, like me.” Another lady keeps moonpies in the bottom of her purse especially for Fay. Right next to her gun. Which may or may not have the safety on.

Apparently, each and every one of those ladies was a would-be beauty queen. Lane presents great songs about the various crazy ways they got robbed of their crowns. Somehow this leads to one of the funniest bits of the show, a Civil War reenactment story told with sock puppets – both with googly eyes, and one with a quite a jaunty mustache.

Lane’s voice is great both for singing and story telling – and she convincingly channels the personalities in the show. She can see the charm in everything -- a rare talent. The whole show is so well-crafted. It’s obvious that Lane’s piano accompanist has worked with her for some time, making the music seamless, but still leaving room to be spontaneous and improvise within their script, since they are on the same wavelength. Her producer and lighting manager – one person handling both roles -- also adds to the polished quality of the show. Now off you go!

Lane's final performance of the run is 5 p.m. Sunday, May 29 in the Huron Club at the Soho Playhouse.

   

     

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