Community : Seen & Heard
Cha-Ching: Swapping The Mind For A Song
Wednesdays Through December 15!
Having been hit hard on the head by the Woo Woo Fairy’s weighty wand early on (at birth), I’m already a member of the striving-towards-awakening choir to which Beth Lapides is not really ever preachin’ in her frolicking song-spiel, 100% Happy 88% of the Time. Nobody likes a preacher, and Beth is a relaxed and benevolent raconteur, a good witch who stirs her personal narrative into an alchemical stew of original songs, graphic word puns, paranormal investigations (house dousing, crystals, crop circles), healings and the surviving of several questionable clouds with no apparent silver linings. Even people with a low spiritual IQ would willingly consider converting to a new POV when charmingly crooned to by the divine Ms. B.
Who put the “UN” in fun, Beth might ask, as she begins to undo her own limited thinking in favor of following the signs – they may indeed have her best interests at heart. If you don’t already know it, Ms. Lapides is the High Priestess of the UnCabaret, the mother duck to countless stand up ducklings who were honing their hilariously off-kilter weltanshauungs (that’s German for world view) back in the day on the UnCab’s stages, where Cheerleader/Hostess Beth held the space generously by cackling her raucous, encouraging laugh in support of those unique and valuable Voices Who Were Emerging. Some of them are now Hollywood bigwigs who were even in attendance at opening night. (Holy crap, did I really just sit in front of Sex in the City’s geniuses, John Melfi, and my elfin hero Michael Patrick King? Actor/writer and UnCab vet Taylor Negron and NEANEANEA Grant winner John Fleck were also there.)
It is with this same mirthful and supportive spirit that Beth approaches the colorful narrating of her own path in a recently emerging art form that has moved from pure stand-up comedy to a more integrative story-telling, one that encompasses both the dark and light of the personal path. Eschewing the more intellectual take one might expect from her Ivy League education (Brown) and Jewish upbringing in favor of “less thinking, more singing,” Beth offers helpful antidotes to the unhappiness bred by Our Time. It’s comforting to know that we’re all going through it – “it’s not just you” is her opening number. In other words, Beth Lapides is courageously practicing what she preaches when she asks us to sing along with her during “Change – Makes Us So Unhappy,” reminding us that change is the only unchangeable by being willing to walk through real uncharted territory within herself. She always wanted to sing, but has really just begun in this current iteration of the show, putting a vulnerable yet sweet spin on this performance and paving the way to a more soul based type of entertainment not usually encouraged here in Ho’wood. She has here opted for a more humanized, accessible version of her life’s story, unfolded through a series of signs along The Way.
After a few Hollyweird sucker punches, an eviction and a radio firing, Beth and her curly headed hubby Greg Miller, who throws in a few PIC-y remarks from the sidelines, (‘Partner In Change’ is a Beth-acronym for those who support growth) the two strive to make sense of their uppy downy journey, even while they are in it. And if these two can save their lives by finding meaning in all of its twists and turns, by Golly, so can we save ours. Isn’t that the whole purpose of storytelling, anyhoo? Everyone has their limits though and apparently, Ms. Lapides draws the Woo Woo line at angels. Can a pow wow with angel expert Doreen Virtue change (that word again) her mind about the existence of the angelic realm? You’ll have to see 100% Happy 88% of the Time to find out.
Towards the end of the show, I could have sworn I saw Beth Lapides sprout wings, she looked so like those cherubim in whom she says she does not believe. I highly recommend this lovely, uplifting show (directed by Clifford Bell, with musical direction by Mitchell Kaplan) to take your Mind off. What do you mean “of what?” Ecch. Just take it off.
Sea Glassman is a painter, poet, filmmaker and director, as well as a performance coach, yogini and guided intuitive. She has directed countless plays and began her documentary film career with her debut film, Stacey Steals Flowers, at the Nantucket Film Festival. Her writing has appeared on line and in various newsletters. Her blog “OMVELOPE,” is a literary magazine dedicated to The Arts and Spirituality: omvelope.wordpress.com.
Beth Lapides (read her collection of My Other Car is a Yoga Mat columns here) has been receiving some positive strokes for her show--including LA Weekly's Best of Issue Best Comeback! And a nifty mention in Flavorpill, including, “Inspired by eureka moments afforded by hinky Hollywood, adolescent diaries, 2012, chronic back pain, an eviction, and a foretelling dove, Lapides candidly offers her game-plan for going “emotionally green” as the best tool for survival in this era of demise. Won’t you ascend with her?”
Order your tickets to 100% Happy 88% of the Time at bethlapides.com.