Amy G. uses her unique comic and singing skills to battle self-doubts at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre
By Carl Kozlowski 05/21/2014
Singer, comedian and roller skater Amy G. (aka Amy Gordon), who has traveled to over 30 countries with her shows, will be bringing her latest one-woman physical/musical comedy “Entershamement” to the Pasadena Playhouse’s Carrie Hamilton Theatre tonight through May 30.
This unique and at times somewhat blue show uses Gordon’s unusual mix of talents to attack the shame and dark thoughts we all face in our most private moments, while serving up a healthy dose of laughter amid mature themes with a Playhouse-issued adult content warning.
“Essentially, I’m a singer and I’m a comedian and especially a physical comedian,” says Gordon, phoning in from a tour stop in Buenos Aires. “If you put those pieces of the puzzle together, I’m a singing clown, for lack of a more elegant term, but it’s more sophisticated than most people know clowns to be. With ‘Entershamement,’ I’m having fun with all my worst traits, taking the things that I’m most ashamed of and putting them out for amusement.”
A Seattle native, Gordon joined theater class and her school choir at a young age, even though she was so shy that her parents almost tried to get her clinical help for her insecurities. Her father had been an amateur vaudeville performer known as The Little Giant, but it was Gordon’s studies at a New York City clown school after college that helped her to finally break free of her fears and follow her dreams.
While Gordon mostly focuses on her own personal foibles onstage, mixing in “band-backed, diva-classic songs” by the likes of Shirley Bassey and Dinah Washington to stunning effect, she notes that she also drew much inspiration from a desire to push back against the nationalistic fervor of post-9/11 America. That aspect of her performances helps her make her themes more universal as she turns the mirror from herself and onto the audience as a whole.
“My thrust in all my work is taking a piece of something that takes itself too seriously or hard to deal with or has heaviness to it and throwing some comedy dust on it and turning it into something we can all laugh at,” says Gordon. “There’s a lot of freedom in that, I find. It’s not a new idea, but it’s a good one. That’s why we have clowns throughout all cultures and times. I used to get into personal terrorism, beating myself up for every little thing that goes wrong, but that’s what makes us lovable and human and opens us to a whole new experience of life in general.”
Amy G. performs “Entershamement” tonight through May 30 with shows at 8 p.m. tonight through Saturday and next Thursday and Friday at the Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call (626) 356-7529 or visit pasadenaplayhouse.org.