A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Too big For Her Britches” written and performed by Lisa Pezik, directed and developed by Heather Dowling, produced by Jessica Lynn Johnson and with musical accompaniment by Drew Lawrence at Whitefire Theatre’s Solofest.
“Too Big For Her Britches” is a story of one woman, Luna’s, life of isolation, shame, self loathing and years of manipulation and emotional abuse from her mother. Outwardly, she was perfect, pretty, successful, size zero. But, we all know that what we see is almost never as it seems. A life of pressure to conform and please brings Luna to the brink of suicide and despair, but thanks to finding love for herself and from another, she finds her ‘warrior’ within and learns to reject her forced feelings of shame and doubt, and to see her true beauty and strength.
It’s quite a journey that the gorgeous and talented performer and writer Lisa Pezik takes us on. Luna’s mother was hell bent of making her feel small, never honoring her, never letting her be herself, always criticising. This pathological and systematic shaming causing the character of Luna body dysmorphia, eating disorders and a general need to be everyone’s whipping boy. She took years of her life to finally and bravely truly become. The story is peppered with characters from a sad life. The mother, cruel and cold, mean, manipulative coworkers and user boyfriends. However, it’ is also full of people who truly care. Friends who find Luna and see her light. And finally, when she is able to know her own worth, Luna finds love for herself. But even then, her story turns to torment when she is forced through a terrible birth experience with her first child. The world can seem so overwhelmingly heartless at times.
There is a lot of trauma in this show. But also so much laughter and hope. Lisa Pezik is a wonderful actor, but also a phenomenal singer and the songs she sings through the show are powerful, heartfelt and beautifully written.
Solo shows are always deeply personal and often tales of difficulty and triumph and “Too Big For Her Britches” is most assuredly this, but the music, the songs themselves really set this show apart. They are an album of gorgeous music written from the heart. So, the show is sort of an homage to the songs in a way. Like very detailed liner notes, full of the history of the songs, expanding on the lyrics and giving an audience a place from which they came.
“Too Big For Her Britches” is a brilliant piece of solo artistry. Fearless, soulful and moving. Lisa Pezik is wonderful to watch as she twists herself into each and every character. It is truthful and triumphant and an ode to every girl who has ever felt disregarded, unimportant, lost and alone. There is always something better if you can only let go of those who bring you pain. Bravo!
You can watch “Too Big For Her Britches” for the next few weeks online streaming.