Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

December 20, 2014 at 11:20am

"Holiday Bizarre!" - Dr. Lauren is good for what ails you

Dr. Lauren / photo courtesy of Lauren O'Neill

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The phrase triple threat, meaning a person who excels at acting, dancing, and singing, is among the most overused in all entertainment. Oh, sure, any number of actors can carry a tune. I've even met trained opera singers who can manage a waltz without requiring emergency services. All the same, it's rare to meet a performer who's better than average at all three - yet the phrase seems an understatement when applied to Lauren O'Neill. I have to be careful when I refer to her, as she wears so many hats in Olympia's live entertainment scene that it's important not to use her right stage name for the wrong occasion. She's an improv artist, a fixture in the local burlesque scene, and a go-to when, say, a sassy mistress of ceremonies is required. Her performance as Glenn Danzig (of all people) was a highlight of Oly's Night of the Living Tribute Bands a few years ago.

Now there's a new persona, "Dr. Lauren," who'll probably look a lot like Lauren O'Neill but say things distinctly less practical. I write "Dr. Lauren" in quotes for the same reason Ms. O'Neill adds an asterisk to her title: "*Dr. Lauren is not a licensed therapist or cosmetologist." In actual fact, I'm not sure what subject Dr. Lauren's doctorate is in. She may have earned it sketching that turtle in the back of TV Guide, or ordered it from an online church group. Whatever the case, O'Neill's press release for her show promises "a vehicle for self-discovery and worldwide growth and healing," along with "advice! Music! Makeovers! Therapeutic happenings! Catharsis!" So yeah. Whatever that means. Your guess is good as mine. But relax! Try not to worry about the specifics. I've seen O'Neill's brand of holiday cabaret merriment before, and it's always a joy to behold. Fans of dearly deported (not a typo!) entertainer Saul Tannenbaum will remember O'Neill's appearances as sultry chorine Kitty Beaujolais-but again, different hat, different character. She's a slippery one, that Lauren O'Neill.

Of course there'll be acting, dancing, and singing; and yes, there will probably be charming little holiday ensembles. Her show will be campy in the best way, amusing in an intentional way, and in every way, good for what ails you.  Plus there'll be catharsis! - as Dr. Aristotle intended. Oh, and drinks. Let us not dismiss the power of drinks.

DR. LAUREN'S HOLIDAY BIZARRE!, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 26-27, Urban Onion Lounge, 116 Legion Way SE, Olympia, $7, drlauren.brownpapertickets.com

Filed under: Theater, Comedy, Olympia,
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