How I Lost One Pound is a silly, sad, and charming piece, driven by the endearing Lesley Carlberg, as she tells her story of struggling to live her dreams, and struggling to loose some weight. Lesley starts her piece by entering through the side door of the theatre, and while wearing a giant tutu (really, GIANT), she cuts across a row of the audience claiming it’s her “favourite way” to get on stage. What follows is not really a musical as it claims to be, but more of a quirky stand up act with some set pieces, props, and music played (not live, not original, and not sung by her).
While it wasn’t what I was expecting from the play, it was a unique and valuable pice of theatre. The title of “Musical” might have also been to prove her point that she did end up becoming the “dancer, singer, actor” that she always dreamed to be, as told in the show. It deeply explored the topic of loosing weight as a middle aged woman (she’s 52 now), and how difficult and annoying it can be. I thought this was a refreshing perspective because, although there are lots of pieces about young girls and weight issues, How I Lost One Pound shares the realistic, frustrating, and often hilarious moments of an older generation dealing with beauty standards and health. Lesley keeps it realistic, honest and doesn’t over dramatize the reality of her situation. She simply shares her experiences as they are, and as a result, we get to see her relatable story and her lovable character.
The actual jokes were hit or miss. Some of them made the entire audience roar with laughter, while others fell flat. I think if the show was edited more thoroughly and some jokes were removed or replaced, it could be a lot more humorous and have more consistency. How I Lost One Pound proved potential for great humour but wasn’t always consistent in achieving the desired response from the audience. The jokes that were successful however, paired with the lovable actor and her honest delivery, was enough to make this show worth seeing, even if it wasn’t what I expected.
How I Lost One Pound, The Musical runs until September 17th, as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival.
Tickets: $14 | Location: Firehall Arts Centre