Kelli Porterfield channels Southern ladies for comic gold in “Mirror Mirror”
By Bethany Trottier / Jester Correspondent
Kelli Porterfield’s one-woman show “Mirror Mirror,” seen this month at the People’s Improv Theater in New York, is a fantastical reflection of insecurity in women in the American South. Porterfield herself is a fearless performer, running around in a skin-tight leopard print cat suit and mullet wig or hip-hop dancing as though her life depended on it.
These characteristics channel the audience seamlessly into the inner worlds of her roster of over-the-top characters, or rather, caricatures. Whatever is going on below the Mason-Dixon Line appears to be even more disturbing than what my imagination can conjure. These personalities all have one common life goal — the eventual triumph of surface over substance. The successful surface manipulation is the prize that will turn these women into winners. They believe that they can overcome life’s adversities through image alone. Hell, for these women, one of life’s adversities IS image.
Porterfield’s most over-the-top character has to be the mulleted, pudgy, lycra-clad (with lots of cleavage of course!) Staceee — that’s right, with three Es. She is a wanna-be hardcore fitness instructor with a fondness for espousing inspirational life philosophies such as “losing is for losers — that’s why it’s called losing!” The short film of Staceee’s quest to Eastern Asia in order to become enlightened is a hysterical MUST SEE.
Porterfield’s show is structured as a series of vignettes, narrated by one of her Southern lady characters, such as the dimwitted tanning salon gal who answers a suicide prevention hotline while taking tanning apartments, a cosmetic saleswoman who channels both Mary Kay and Billy Graham. And of course, the breezy, elegant owner of the local old folks home who gives relatives permission to unload their “ugly and smelly” elderly and forget all about them — for the right price, of course!
The stories within the show all tie together, giving consistency and completeness. “Mirror Mirror” is a very funny show – one of the best I’ve seen this year. Go see Kelli Porterfield in this or in anything — you will absolutely laugh your ass off.
Los Angelenos will be able to see Porterfield in “Mirror Mirror” next month Jan. 3, 17 and 31 at the ImprovOlympic West in Hollywood.
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