Written and performed by Sandra Battaglini. Directed by Phil Luzi. Alumnae Theatre, to June 24.
Sandra Battaglini’s new solo show is called Classy Lady, but “Brassy Lady” would be more apt. This Italian-Canadian comedian from Sudbury is bold, outspoken, and raunchy, but she’s also got the cojones to offer us two hours of what is essentially an unfocused stand-up routine, padded with amateurish video skits.
The show purports to satirize society’s notion of what constitutes a “classy lady,” with comic critiques of female archetypes like the martyr and the slut. But apart from the occasional pithy observation—the suffragettes were classy ladies; Botox-injecting suburbanites are not—Battaglini devotes most of her stage time to autobiographical material that just isn’t funny. And lest we get the impression that she’s a class act herself, she indulges in cheap ethnic humour and juvenile jokes about crapping during copulation.
Although Phil Luzi is credited with the task, there’s no evidence that the show was directed. It also feels weirdly dated. Hanna Puley’s cheesy rec-room set and Battaglini’s garish wardrobe seem to be going for a parody of 1970s-era “elegance.”Classy Lady is a belated follow-up to Battaglini’s Hard Headed Woman, which won her a 2007 Canadian Comedy Award. With a five-year gestation period, you’d think she could have come up with something better than this.