BOTTOM LINE: One-woman shows about personal experiences can be a little self indulgent, but nevertheless Vodka Shoes is refreshing, endearing, and gut-bustingly funny.
Everyone has that funny uncle who hits the sauce too much. You're occasionally embarrassed by him, but you love the guy through all his quirky ideas and inappropriate jokes. You also have that crazy relative that's way too into her religion, and believes she has an "in" with the big guy upstairs. Just me? Ok, well anyways, Vodka Shoes describes what happens when that's your Mom and Dad. Writer and performer Leslie Goshko's father was a full blown alcoholic, but a fun guy who taught his kids how to race the lawnmower and better ways to remember your ABCs (Heads up… B stands for ball sac). Mom used to drink, but then found God, which for her is more addictive and almost as destructive. The story catalogues her parents antics and all the crap she went through for them.
I liked this show. It is more of a theatrical stand-up routine then a traditional one-woman show, but I still enjoyed it. Leslie Goshko has some serious comedy chops, and I found myself throwing my head back in laughter at her witty and biting one-liners. It's not all laughs though, as these situations never are, but Goshko steers clear of that annoying pitfall of pity which is often the problem with self-reflective one-woman shoes. Instead, she unapologetically reveals her childhood, the struggles between two very different but equally crazy parents, and says "Hey, this might have been messed up then, but it's hysterical now."
(Vodka Shoes plays at the Under St. Marks Theater, St. Marks Place, through March 7, 2010. Performances are Saturday February 27th at 4pm, Thursday March 4th at 9pm, Friday March 5th at 7:30pm, and Sunday March 7th at 1pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at smarttix.com. For more festival information visit frigidnewyork.info.)