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Rachel Bloom: Death, Let Me Do My Show

An observant but uneven standup routine that brings back to the stage the story of a thirty-something and her ins and outs.

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Rachel Bloom in the return engagement of her show “Death, Let Me Do My Show” at the Orpheum Theatre (Photo credit: Emilio Madrid)

[avatar user=”Joel Benjamin” size=”96″ align=”left”] Joel Benjamin, Critic[/avatar]

The program art for Rachel Bloom: Death Let Me Do My Show, now at the Orpheum Theatre, depicts a bosomy Bloom, red dress and hair flowing, pursued by a clichéd figure of death in a black robe carrying a scythe.

Indeed, even during her funny, warm show she is, despite her eponymous plea, haunted by death who appears suddenly and from the oddest of places in this re-boot of the show she previously performed at the Lucille Lortel Theatre this past fall.

Dressed in a glittery, silver suit—costumes by Kristin Isola—Bloom immediately takes control of an audience who already admire her from her standup comedy and her bitterly funny TV show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend plus her solo tour of What Am I Going to Do with My Life Now? and, perhaps, from the recent iteration of this amusing musing of life and death and birth and Covid.

Bloom ponders her pre-pandemic self and the trauma of the birth of her daughter who had a life-threatening condition.  Covid limited her visits to her baby in the NICU and caused the death of her close friend and writing partner Adam Schlesinger who, ironically, shared the NICU when it was partly converted to a Covid ward.

Rachel Bloom in the return engagement of her show “Death, Let Me Do My Show” at the Orpheum Theatre (Photo credit: Emilio Madrid)

Changing the subject, she describes her block in her Brooklyn neighborhood where there is a tree whose blossoms smell like “a whorehouse dumpster” leading to her song, “Meet You Under the Cum Tree.”  When she begins to sing about a bush that smells like…., she comes face to face with her mortal nemesis who appears to object to the direction her show is going.

Death does what he can to NOT let her proceed including destroying her very red curtained set designed by the estimable Beowulf Boritt.  He acts as both a devil’s advocate and a back-handed friend.

Unperturbed, she valiantly goes on with her very detailed observations about her life as a mother, a pet owner, a wife and a very successful comedy writer/performer.

Hana S. Kim provided projections that illustrate Bloom’s anecdotes including a sad-but-funny collection of condolence notes from her pet insurance company.

Rachel Bloom in the return engagement of her show “Death, Let Me Do My Show” at the Orpheum Theatre (Photo credit: Emilio Madrid)

Jerome Kurtenbach led the tiny band with energy and panache belying the often second-rate quality of Bloom’s songs.  The songs, written with the clever likes of Kurtenbach, Eli Bolin and Shaina Taub, range from the obvious like the “cum” ditty to a wise satirical take on Dear Evan Hansen with dueling duets with Death in between.

Bloom’s humor sometimes borders unnecessarily on vulgar body fluid references but then switches in an instant to whimsical observations about modern life for thirty-somethings.  The fact that she chooses to end the show with her leering “Under the Cum Tree” song undermines the fact that she is a fine observer of her particular social circle.

David Hull, Bloom’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriends” co-star, is a sardonic, handsome singing and acting partner.

Rachel Bloom: Death, Let Me Do My Show (return engagement December 7, 2023 – January 6, 2024)

Orpheum Theatre, 126 Second Avenue, in Manhattan

For tickets, visit http://www.RachelBloomShow.com

Running time: 85 minutes without an intermission

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About Joel Benjamin (562 Articles)
JOEL BENJAMIN was a child performer on Broadway and danced with leading modern dance and ballet companies. Joel has been attending theater, ballet and opera performances ever since childhood, becoming quite opinionated over the years. He was the founder and artistic director of the American Chamber Ballet and subsequently was massage therapist to the stars before becoming a reviewer and memoirist. He is a member of the Outer Critics Circle.

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