Buddies in Bad Times Theatre was host to the fully staged production of Body So Fluorescent by Amanda Cordner and David Di Giovanni. A stunning one-person show exploring issues of blackness, queerness, and identity, Body So Fluorescent grabs you from moment one and takes you on a crazy night out which you won’t soon forget!

I was so excited that there were drag performances as part of Body So Fluorescent. I got to see Kenya Rami do her thing during the show and she gave a stellar performance. Both songs she performed to were perfectly emblematic of the following monologues. She had all of the tricks, wig reveals, and vogue moves I love in a drag performance. It fit so perfectly well into the world of the story, and it certainly gets the audience revved up!

Amanda Cordner is incredible; from start to finish she commands our undivided attention and makes us care for these friends so deeply. I love that the story allows for both sides to be told. So often we only get to hear one side or another, not the full picture. With both characters we watch as Cordner changes between who they are and how the character wants to be seen; a transition so seamless and yet so poignant, especially with Gary/Shanice. Watching them navigate the set piece was amazing; it gave the exact feeling of restriction while allowing us to see and hear Cordner tell the story. The way she eventually tears through the plastic, breaking free of the crowd in the party was so visceral and impactful; certainly a job well done by Cordner and Di Giovanni. Having been familiar with Cordner’s acting work on TV, I was looking forward to seeing them perform live and I was not disappointed whatsoever.

The story itself is twisty and intriguing, and because we only get one half at a time, there’s a lot that the audience gets to put together for themselves. It’s brilliantly told, giving us little pieces of info as they’re remembered by the characters, and then sometimes huge bombshells all at once. I must admit, it made me sad to learn what happens to the characters after the events of the play. Despite having had similar things happen to me one too many times, I still had hope that Des and Gary would find their way back to one another. It somehow added to the beauty of the play; a reminder of how one night can truly change the course of our lives, how our actions and choices, when we speak up, and when we allow things to go unchecked, can have a major impact on our relationships.

I’m truly hoping that we’ll be able to see Body So Fluorescent again in the future. I think this story has meaning and impact which should be able to be witnessed time and time again. For more information about the production and these companies, visit: https://buddiesinbadtimes.com/show/body-so-fluorescent/

Amanda Cordner, lighting design Rebecca Vandevelde. Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh


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