Lord know that if anyone at the Fringe needs relationship advice, it’s me. So naturally, when a show boasting of its abilities to personally answer all of your tricky questions on life, love and whatever else may be ailing you, I signed right up. Off then once again t the Arts Court Library, improved sightlines and all, where after buying a ticket you’re asked to fill out a small card…on it, you enter your name, age, and the question you want (or need) answered. And once inside, you ssimply drop your question into the provided box, and wait for the fun to begin. And the fun is ASK AGGIE – THE ADVICE DIVA from Small Matters Productions.
Starring Christine Lesiak as our all-knowing, five-times widowed purveyor of wisdom, she dances out on stage with a wicked smile and a fantastic outfit, singing her own theme song (is it wrong that I’m a little miffed that mine is no longer the only character at Fringe with one of those?). Billed as Bouffon in style (but not, you know, RED BASTARD Bouffon, so just relax), Aggie spends much of the show delightedly pulling our questions out of her box and firing her answers, often short and to a very sharpened point, right out into the waiting audience. She has some other, broader questions to address as well, which come usually with a reminiscence about one of her 5 unfortunate former husbands. They’re usually quite witty, insightful, and pretty damn funny.
Lesiak’s Aggie herself is an inarguably charming, beautiful and enigmatic host for your hour…she seductively consoles you at the same time as she’s crushing your dreams, and even leaves you with what sounds to me like honest-to-God good advice from time to time. Several song and dance routines are peppered throughout the show, though one or two of them do start to feel like filler after a bit. It’s when Aggie is delving into her pile of questions though, some heartbreakingly sincere, that this show finds its real heart. Whether that heart then gets stomped on a little bit, well…that’s Aggie’s prerogative. Peace, love and soul,
Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)