As the audience files into the hot tent where On the Rag to Riches is about to begin, a smiling woman hands out ice-cold Popsicles. While we wait, punk girl-rock-like Avril Lavigne plays and people are dancing and laughing. The exciting atmosphere itself is enjoyable. I already love this show.
An all-girl band plays (loudly, I might add. Be prepared to experience some hearing loss for a while after the show. For them, however, it’s worth it) and Katie Molinaro runs onstage and introduces herself as “Janey.” “Hi,” she says, simply. “I’m Janey, and I’m addicted to unhealthy relationships.” With that, she bursts into song, using strong vocals to take us through her life with hilarious lyrics like “Why are elementary school teachers the biggest b*****s in the world?” and “Unless you die, every relationship ends.”
This show is half comedy act, half rock show, and all entertainment. Never in my life have I seen a woman so daring, and so hilarious. She sticks menstrual pads on her elbows and knees, shoots tampons into the audience, and flashes her chest…all while speaking with a mouth even a sailor would gasp at. Crude, raunchy, and bold…this woman is fearless. And it is so refreshing.
The audience absolutely loves her. I’ve never seen an audience so absorbed in a performance. We wave their arms along to her beat, whistle encouragingly, and when she is done, we shout for an encore (and she obliges). “Looking back,” she says, “I still can’t understand why I can’t have a healthy relationship.”
I have seen a lot of shows at this year’s Capital Fringe Festival, and many of them are centered on women empowerment. Katie clearly states that this is not one of those shows. “I will not talk about my heavy flow days,” she says. However, by putting it all out there, with blunt honesty and an unapologetic attitude, she leaves me feeling more empowered than any show I’ve seen so far. This is a show that you cannot miss. Just don’t take your mother with you.
You know what? I change my mind. Bring your mother. I dare you.
Running time: 60 minutes
On the Rag to Riches, information and tickets.