Meshelle: Diary of a MILF
Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater
Reviewed by Robert Viagas
Comedian Meshelle brought her latest solo show, Meshelle: Diary of a MILF (“Mom I’d Love to FOLLOW”) to Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre July 26, and showed why she belongs in a theatre and not just in a comedy club.
Billing herself as “The Indie-Mom of Comedy,” Meshelle (pronounced MEE-shell, original name Meshelle Foreman Shields), put her personal spin on some familiar material about being a mother (she affectionately refers to her husband and three children “terrorists,” “a mixed bag of nuts,” and “dreamkillers”), but she took her work to a higher level with her skills as a master impressionist—not of Hollywood celebrities, but of eccentric family members, grossly entitled helicopter parents she meets at her kids’ private school (and their kids, “Piper and Pepper”), and those that the African-American comedian delicately terms “melanin-free people.” The impersonations were so vivid, it seemed at times that the stage was filled with these alter-egos.
A veteran of Nickelodeon’s Search for the Funniest Mom in America 3 and the stage play Woman Thou Art Loosed, Meshelle, spun her everyday suburban life into comic gold. “When did I have to start leasing a minivan?” she observed as she mourned about her loss of status as a “Cutie on duty,” and came to the startling realization, as she looked around her home, that “everybody in the house has been inside my body.”
For a show being presented in July, she included lot of humor about Kwanzaa and Christmas, perhaps because this one-night show was part of a national tour that is scheduled to take her to the United Solo Theatre Festival this fall, with more stops beyond.