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    2008-2009 reviews:
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      Rave Mom
    Burning woman

    "Rave Mom" is Ann Magnuson's movingly personal story of questionable romance and improbable adventure leading from the dot-com bonanza to the L.A. rave scene to the Burning Man festival.


    Nearly 20 years after beginning her performance careeer in the East Village, Ann Magnuson returns to the neighborhood with a witty, vibrant, thoroughly entertaining one-woman show. "Rave Mom" is Magnuson's tale of dabbling in the L.A. rave scene, replete with some drug experimentation and her reflections on what she encounters.

    Written and performed by: Ann Magnuson.
    As she goes on a trip (in more ways than one) to Las Vegas with friends to see a New Year's Eve Marilyn Manson concert, she talks about how she's being romantically pursued by a dot-com millionaire who wants to fly her to a distant locale for their first date.

    The two storylines dovetail effectively as Magnuson talks about her equal bemusement at both scenarios. She holds the dot-com guy at bay (in the show she refers to him as Moneybags) not wanting to seem like she can be bought and modeling her behavior after Doris Day's in "That Touch Of Mink." Whenever she mentions Moneybags, a clever sequined carrot dangles from above.

    As she tries to get a grip on things with this guy, she lets her friends convince her to go to a rave, where she tries to fit in although she feels out of place. (She talks about pulling her "Cat In The Hat" hat over her crow's feet and giving it her best shot.) She juxtaposes her description of the rave with her tale of Moneybags' lame Oscar party, where it starts to occur to her that he might not be Prince Charming after all (especially considering he does more drugs than the ravers).

    Magnuson's pop-cultural savvy and skills as a raconteuse make "Rave Mom" an engaging journey. She punctuates her description of the rave scene with apropos music and dancing. The show is also very moving when Magnuson remembers her late brother, Bobby. The part when she talks about visiting the Temple of The Sad Story at Burning Man and reflecting on seeing him at a hospital as he is dying of AIDS is truly poignant. Magnuson descirbes a samll radio in the room playing an oldies station and Petula Clark's "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love" swells in the background as he slips away. (I found myself blinking back tears at this moment.)

    With this show, Magnuson displays her twin gifts for holding up a culturally resonant mirror to our times, and for being a supremely dynamic performer.

    OCTOBER 20, 2001

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