In "Around The World In A Bad Mood", Rene Fossauthor, stewardess-survivor, and star of this one-woman tribute to the unfriendly skies-spends most of the evening taxiing around the runway, but never quite gets the show off the ground.
Director Ross Meyerson manages to embellish the mostly mundane material with the occasional inspired touch of stage business, material which is also broken up by welcome audio/visual diversions- giving the energetic Ms. Foss the opportunity to catch her breath and for what becomes an interminable parade of costume, prop, and sometimes character changes.
Rene makes the most of a somewhat hackneyed topic- if you haven't guessed by now, it's air travel and the stress of being a stewardess on a typical airline. There are the "captain" jokes, the food cart reenactments, the occasional moments of serious nostalgia and the on-the-job grousing you might overhear at any water cooler across the country.
Rene is trying to make a long-term gig out of true-life experience- sometimes a good idea, except she pushes her easy familiarity with the material past the point of having any entertainment value with a forced "if you talk louder, it's funnier" delivery that you can find on vapid, prime-time shows with "attitude" any time of the week. Interestingly, the audience seemed to enjoy the soft-edged humor in the same way, responding with waves of chortling, right on cue, leaving me wondering if I was missing something. Then I realized that they might as well have been home watching tv, and Rene would've been thrilled to be featured on Comedy Central. Pretzels or peanuts?
"Around The World In A Bad Mood" is sponsored by SRO and Fringe Festival.
Currently playing at Theatre Garage, 711 Franklin Ave W, through March 28th.