Another day of the Ottawa Fringe Festival, another one-woman show…there’s a goodly number of them at this year’s festival, and I couldn’t be happier about it. By the time my third show of day two rolled around I had already seen and fallen hard for two solo ladies, and was eager to check out another. That this one came highly recommended by Nancy Kenny did not fall lightly on me, neither.

Taking place in Arts Court Theatre, CUPIDITY is Jessica Fitzpatrick’s ode to hopeless romanticism gone, well, a little funny. Okay, gone VERY funny. Her heroine, Annie Miller, spends her life gorging herself on romcoms and dreaming of the day her Prince will come. To that end she’s already begun work on her own schmaltzy screenplay, ‘Love Love Love’, and isn’t too shy to act out a few scenes for us. Shy doesn’t seem to be in miss Fitzpatrick’s vocabulary, really, as Annie goes from one hilarious extreme to the next to demonstrate her unwavering devotion to her idealized notions of love. This includes a youthful foray into singing her feelings to the cool guy at school (with show-stopping results), to some present-time adventures with barbie dolls that can only be called extraordinarily inappropriate. Along the way Jessica embodies several different characters including a radio talk show host, as well as her doting Mother, who never really got over Annie’s Father walking out on them…which adds an unexpectedly tender layer to our heroine’s seemingly childish obsession with love. Which is, of course, one a lot of us secretly share.

The delightful Jessica Fitzpatrick (photo by TheatreinLondon)
The delightful Jessica Fitzpatrick, not being awkward at all (photo by TheatreinLondon)

The smart and funny script alone would be sweet and endearing as all Hell in pretty much any hands, but with Jessica Fitzpatrick on the stage this show gets kicked up several notches into five-star range. She’s clearly a bafflingly talented actor and physical comedian and displays her skill in every wonderful scene. I laughed and laughed hard at this show, and can safely say that Jessica is a Fringe force that I hope to continue seeing for many years to come. See this show. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid

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