When I first saw the title of Jackie Loeb’s one-woman extravaganza at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, I had my reservations. What the frack does this woman have to celebrate? Aren’t one-woman shows supposed to be about angst and rejection and recovery from eating disorders?  I jest, but that’s kind of what mine’s about…  I was further confused by the cover photo on the Fringe listing: Jackie wearing a mix of coy surprise (little old me?) and elation, her hair blown back (it, too, is surprised and elated).  Who is this saucy Aussie and what the hell is she kvelling over?

Glad you asked.  Jackie Loeb doesn’t just have a one-woman show.  Jackie Loeb IS a one-woman show.  She sings — by that I mean, one minute you’re hearing Aretha being channeled through this blonde, bob-wearing gal from down under, the next, Maria Callas.  She plays guitar.  The piano, neglected for the first half of the show was put to awe-inspiring use once she sat down at it.  She tells jokes and funny stories.  The woman has so much talent it’s sick.

The celebration part?  Let’s just say much of it centers around her recent move to L.A.  As you can imagine, Jackie has a few things to say about… oh, let’s see… the freeways, the culture, the use of the word “adjacent” to denote a not-so-great neighborhood that happens to be in the same time zone as a nice one.  Jackie just seems to get this city in such a fresh way it reminded me of my own culture shock when I first moved here.  And when I say “fresh”, I mean both new and sassy.

Oh, and turning forty — that, too, is fodder, particularly her rendition of Billy Joel’s “She’s Always A Woman”.  Obviously the words have been changed to protect the innocent, but it’s such sheer genius you completely forget what Billy was singing about in the first place.

Yes, Jackie Loeb — there is a Santa Claus and yes,  you do have so much to celebrate (exclamation point).

SO MUCH TO CELEBRATE! plays June 23rd and 24th at the Asylum Theatre.

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