Ginger Johnsons’ Happy Place playing at Pleasance Dome is undefinable in an utterly enjoyable way: It is a mash-up of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Drag Race, and an Amy Winehouse biopic that feels like the new millenniums hope for equality, acceptance, and empowerment.
Feels like the new millenniums hope for equality, acceptance, and empowerment
The magic of the show is how all of these vastly different genres meld together in the hands of writer / performer Ginger Johnson to create a devastating picture of the ramifications of homophobia, self-hate, and anxiety have on our title hero.
Johnson is strong, funny, and smart, but even those stellar attributes are not enough to save her from the looniness she feels inside and the oppressive hate she is forced to confront on the outside. Johnson’s happy place is complete with disco music, home-made puppets, and her own tech person. It is a place that the audience feels welcome and where many of us would like to spend a great deal of our time under the protection of Ginger Johnson herself. But who is protecting Johnson? Who is there to answer Johnson’s call for help? As it turns out in the story, no one is there. And we are left with a sense of utter devastation as we watch the decline of our warrior hero.
The play falters a little in the last third; it feels like it is missing a vital scene that progresses us further on Johnson’s journey, but the performance by Ginger Johnson deftly makes up for any defects in the script.
Go and visit Ginger Johnson’s Happy Place. Revel in her humor, strength and raw honesty. In the story, we learn that Johnson fantasizes about winning many awards. Ginger Johnson, I bestow you with the Best Hostess for A Happy Place Award, cue the applause.