Canadian comic DeAnne Smith could be described as the thinking woman’s sex symbol. Pixie-like, petite, with wide glasses, neckties, button down shirts and jeans, Smith walks a clear line in geeky, lesbian, hipster chic. She’s nerdy and cute and has a way with words. She can belt out ditties on her ukulele and has an intellectual streak that, if left unchecked, could wear out its welcome.
Luckily, she’s also got the gift for finding a balance. Her new solo show is so cleverly and tightly written that it almost could be cloying. Her audience participation requirements so cheesy as to be almost painful and her confessional style so over-thought as to be almost irritating. But thankfully those almosts don’t eventuate. Let’s Do This is an hour of rapidly paced wit, tight anecdotes and wacky musings with the quirk-o-meter just high enough to hit top without going into overdrive.
In last year’s show, Livin’ The Sweet Life, Smith pampered a single audience member with a hamper of champagne and snacks. This year it’s shots for a couple of boys and an intimate, ironic love song for a girl in the front row. She gets the audience on side early, which is a good thing, considering what she asks them to do later on. Smith has so carefully woven the punters into her material that without them she’d have to write a new show.
In between her audience love-ins, she’s got plenty of thoughts on groovers who Instagram all their meals, over-confident people who always “nail it,” first world guilt, dolphins trained by the US military and an extended metaphor for the challenges of sex.
You get the impression that she spends a lot of time in her head, which could explain how her show is so skillfully conceptualized and cleanly constructed. It finds a full circle and ties up with a satisfying conclusion.
It's not hard to see why in only eight years, Smith has become a prominent comic on the international circuit. She’s got a balance of edgy anxiousness and smooth confidence on top of her strong material.
There's little doubt – she's got the title of her show all stitched up.
Live Nation presents
Let's Do This
Venue: Melbourne Town Hall – Cloak Room | Cnr Swanston & Collins Sts, Melbourne
Dates: 28 Mar – 21 Apr, 2013
Tickets: $20 – $25
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 660 013
Part of the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival