by Mike Poblete · August 19, 2015
A slick, endearing short cartoon opens Felicity Seidel’s autobiographical one woman show Lucky Chick. The video recounts her childhood growing up on East Something Something Street in Manhattan at a time where artists roamed every corner. After her father left her mother couldn’t get out of bed, her hair ever growing; Seidel used the locks to climb out the window and escape into the great circus of life.
Seidel herself then enters the stage and recounts her teenage years spent going from one bad boy to another: the neighborhood hoodlum that robs groceries by holding his hand in the shape of a gun in a paper bag; Bobby Weir of the Grateful Dead who brings her all over the country and keeps her stoned on coke; and Danny the drug dealer. Danny’s constant run-ins with dangerous gunmen create the need for her to spend the summer in an unlikely hideaway for a New York teenager: a ranch in Wyoming. Though it seems impossible for her to avoid the destructive men in her life, through hard labor she attains a kind of clarity that in the end brings her full circle back to, of all people, her mother.
Seidel has a way with words, with such phrases as, “Never underestimate a woman in a wheelchair with a piss bag,” and “Let’s just say I’ll be back in a few days with or without my arm.” The details are vivid, presenting a colorful tapestry from Manhattan to LSD fueled Grateful Dead concerts to the deformed, chauvinist ranch hands out west. However, the stories seemed to switch time and place without quite finishing, as if told by someone too excited to get to the next high octane plot point. And while Seidel is an earnest narrator with a lot of charm, her lack of aggressive energy and strong differentiation of characters made it difficult at times for the audience to clearly follow the dynamics of a one person show. In the end I felt I had spent the evening with a fascinating individual in a loud bar: I was engaged, but at times wished the storytelling had a little more polish.