All That Gomez

Marga Gomez is one quirky lady. With a quick wit and a likeable manner, she explodes onto the stage as one might expect from someone raised in New York by a Cuban comedian father and Puerto Rican dancer mother. She very quickly establishes a great rapport with the audience, speaking freely to them but never at the expense of the audience as a whole. The intimacy of the venue helps considerably here and I got the feeling that a larger venue would take away quite a lot of the piece's charm.We begin with some classic stand-up, delivered with the skill of an experienced performer and providing interesting and amusing anecdotes on her past life. However, things take a bit of a downward turn when Gomez explains that the evening is going to consist of a mixture of stand-up, extracts from her previous theatre pieces and a couple of songs. What results is a jumble of material and a show that can never decide exactly what it's trying to be.Having started to build the audience's laughter into a regular occurance, the switch into the first theatre extract is rather jarring and leaves the audience a little uncertain in how to react. This becomes a regular occurrence in the show, particularly as the theatre extracts do not always build or finish properly so it is difficult to see where one part ends and the next begins. The theatre extracts tend to interrupt a nice steady flow of stand-up where the topics would actually quite naturally follow on from each other if the monologues hadn't been inserted in at random places. In fact, both the stand up and the monologues seem to suffer as Gomez's characterisation is very good but each piece comes out of nowhere, leaving the audience a little bewildered as to the mood of each extract and whether it is ok to laugh or not. After a promising first ten minutes, sadly this felt too much like a stodgy stew rather than one fantastic gourmet meal.

Reviews by Damian Sandys

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The Blurb

Robin Williams calls Marga Gomez 'a lesbian Lenny Bruce. ' Her spicy comedy and quirky tales will put the tart in your tartan and a tilt in your kilt. 'Gomez beguiles' (Time Out, NY).

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