Bite Me But Smile
Created by Elizabeth Shearer
Performed by Miss Zella Shear
Reviewed at City Tatts Hub
Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP
The truth is, it could be a hit or a miss.
Miss Zella Shear is a narcissistic single woman who trusts her dog and her pink, phallic vibrator more than men. In fact, she even sings a love song to the vibrator.
As she shares her contemplation's of love, dating, existence and food, Miss Zella takes us on a journey that involves songs, audience participation, slapstick and eating, sometimes all at the same time. Apparently, the single woman’s staple, eating-alone foods are Vegemite on toast, red wine, Nutella and the kebab, with the latter being the subject of an emotional outpouring that includes a sword.
At some time, each one of us puts on a brave front, and Miss Zella does it through Just Shine, the song made famous by Nat King Cole. Then the bling comes out and so does Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.
Elizabeth Shearer is truly multi-talented, having been classically trained as well as possessing a flair for comedy and the ability to quickly engage audience members.
She performs impressive renditions of Ave Maria and Puccini’s O mio babbino caro. When you’re watching slapstick comedy one minute and then she whips out a couple of arias, it’s both surprising and delightful.
The only irritating aspect of this production is that it’s in small venues. A show that’s as good as this, with a performer of Shearer’s talent, should be playing in larger rooms. Admittedly, this year’s Sydney Fringe Festival has attracted a multitude of offerings, many more choices than you could possibly see in a month, so a show needs to be perceived as something special in order for it to stand out. The one-woman show that we saw immediately before Bite Me But Smile was in a similar-sized room and for the same ticket price, but it was diabolical and seemed to be staged purely for the enjoyment of the performer.
Bite Me But Smile will be playing at various venues in Sydney in this month of September. You really will enjoy it and appreciate the considerable talents of Elizabeth Shearer.