I can't stop thinking about Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking, which I caught last night at Studio 54. I've always been a fan: The kid in me will always aspire to be her iconic Star Wars character (good thing the childhood Halloween photos of me as an Empire Strikes Back Leia seem to be missing). My older self appreciates her brilliance, writing, and ability to laugh at the challenges life's thrown her way.
I suppose the most striking thing about the show is her remarkable ability to relate to everyone in the audience. She's a star born to other stars...but really, it was a random act of fate that plopped her into the Hollywood melee. It could have been any of us. And by reminding us that we're all mentally ill in some way, shape, or form (yes, we are!), the best way to handle life's crap is by owning it. All you need is a little distance and the ability to laugh.
It's wonderful to see how she's turned her tumultuous existence so far into an entertaining lesson in life. It's helpful rather than exploitative, which is a refreshing antidote to the trashy memoirs and reality TV usually foisted upon us.
(The only bad thing about seeing a show like this is that Carrie's life makes mine seem mundane. Not that I'm interested in being an addict, "invited" to a mental hospital, married to a gay man, etc., but it makes me want to work on zipping things up a bit. As Auntie Mame said, "Live! Life's a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!")
If you've ever been a fan of Carrie, one-woman shows, Hollywood, addicts, crazy people, and/or good writing, snag a ticket.
Wishful Drinking opens Sunday and runs through January 3, 2010.