“Reveal no personal information,” orders an organizer to prison volunteer Lauren Weedman in the return of her hilarious and brutally frank one-woman show. The chipper blonde is a goofball who would fess up to anything for a laugh, but her riotous anecdotes have an acid tinge. Pertly insensitive yet continually apologetic, Weedman uses humor as a deflection device — and she's smart enough to know it. Directed crisply and incisively by Allison Narver, Weedman admits she enlisted as an inmate life-coach partially because she wanted to be the prettiest girl in the room, and the joke has a whiplash honesty. As she skewers herself and the Through the Looking Glass logic of the California prison system, Weedman shows a spot-on ear for characters, bringing into sharp relief everyone from a meth-addicted prostitute to a candy-coated manipulator at Glamour magazine who persuades Weedman to sell her darkest secret — only to spin her shame into a public uproar. Though the characterization of herself as a narcissistic mess has you thinking she's got more in common with the women on the other side of the Plexiglas divide, after Weedman hits bottom and realizes she has to fight to survive, the Glamour disaster sinks her even lower. Yet we watch her claw back from the brink as she finds that sometimes comedy — and vulnerability — is strength.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 29. Continues through March 5, 2008

LA Weekly