Much like growing up in general, Anna Vanosi’s Late Bloomers’ Tales is at times awkward and over-dramatic but comes together in a beautiful melody of optimism and acceptance. Vanosi returns to the Fringe with a deeply personal show that seeks to answer this question: “What does it mean to grow up?” The hour-long jazz-infused solo show was kitschy at times, uncomfortable at others, but had irredeemably beautiful moments that more than made up for its faults.
The show starts out of the blue with Vanosi miming her morning rush on a bike. This frantic energy quickly characterizes the first half of the show. Randomly jumping from song to song, with bits of shouted and over-enunciated monologue in between, it feels as though the young child whose life Vanosi narrates is the one performing the show. It ultimately makes for a jarring and disorienting experience.
That isn’t to say Vanosi isn’t a good performer; as the show goes on, it matures into eloquently poetic monologues and fantastical musical numbers that make the audience forget for a moment they’re in the basement of a bar. It seems that the material in the latter half of the show is far more personal and emotional for Vanosi, and her extraordinarily expressive voice makes it resonate with the audience as well.
Late Bloomers’ Tales was by no means a perfect show; at times it felt slow and overly scripted. However, it fully has the potential to be one. When Vanosi is in the zone, this show is right up there with the best of the best. Late Bloomers’ Tales makes one feel the distant love of a far-away relative, the slow ticking of time’s passage, the catharsis of self-discovery. Most importantly, it preaches the growing acceptance that really, it’s okay to bloom late.
Late Bloomers is on The Street (Venue 239)
At 19:45 until 24th August (excluding 19th and 22nd)
This show is part of the PBH Free Fringe.
Image: Anna Vanosi