My Cosmic Blowout is Analisha Santini’s wild and witty confessional | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

My Cosmic Blowout is Analisha Santini’s wild and witty confessional 

Even the therapeutic affirmations don't wreck it.

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Joshua Albanese

Analisha Santini wants you to know she's got attention deficit disorder ("with a dash of dyslexia"). And she's bisexual too. And as far as she's concerned, there's nothing coincidental about the combination. She's also more than happy to tell you about the time she drove her parents' car down to Saint Louis without permission, to see a suicidal girlfriend. And about the bad patch she suffered when a lot of issues hit her all at once. And how much she likes Adderall. She'll even take you to see her (rather disturbing) shrink.

Santini's solo skit show My Cosmic Blowout pushes so far into the confessional and the therapeutic that bits of it sound like self-help affirmations. Oddly enough, that doesn't wreck it.

That's because Santini is not only wildly talented but able to use the wildness in her talent to canny effect. She brings a rare comic physicality to her skits, deploying her body and face in ways usually associated with clowning. Her props, too, can have a clowny edge; witness the enormous tampon she produces from between her legs, strung with an endless array of bizarre items.

Gross as the tampon thing may sound, it's cleverly handled. There's a definite look-at-me! spirit to My Cosmic Blowout—an abandon that's not at all the same as chaos. Santini can be as witty as she is wild. The biggest drawback to the show, ironically, is one of the elements it's built on: autobiography. If I were director Wolfgang Stein, I'd advise Santini to pull away some by building characters from her experiences. And ease up on the affirmations.   v


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