Ginger Johnson's Happy Place

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.

Reviews by Stephen Svoboda

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Performances

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The Blurb

The alt-right is rising, permafrost is melting, and every other sea turtle has a plastic straw jammed up its nostril… It’s a bit much, to be honest. In a valiant, ridiculous attempt to cope with the increasing horror of everyday life, Ginger Johnson packs her bags and poses the question: how far are we willing to run to escape reality, and at what cost? Part cabaret confessional, part Sesame Street special, Johnson puts two fingers up to sadness and jumps – high-heels first – into a world of absolute delusion. 'Brilliant, bizarre, completely unmissable!' (Time Out).

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