An Evening With Patti DuPont (4 stars)

This article is from 2014


Parody of the fawning biopic and celebrity documentary from member of The Boom Jennies

Anna Emerson’s debut solo show is the bottled essence of the Fringe. Not in the smug-bongo-drummers-tackling-racism-through-mime sense. In the best sense. Her show happens up a stairway, in a makeshift theatre during a restaurant mid-renovation. The eponymous 84-year-old Patti DuPont has had to cancel, due to botched cosmetic surgery, so her daughter Linda (chronically nervous, horsey, handsome, stiff yet sweaty of upper lip) bravely steps in as understudy for this story of her mum’s life.

DuPont was no stranger to controversy, as a slideshow and stammered synopsis from Linda attests. ‘Horrifically competitive’, ‘sexually exhausting’ and ‘broadly despised’, Patti fell out with co-stars and triggered protests while working on films including Doglady and When Nuns Go Bad.

Emerson (one third of sketch act The Boom Jennies) delivers a parody of the fawning biopic or celebrity documentary which is wholly on point; her attention to detail is exquisitely ludicrous, and just when anecdotes about barbiturates and an accidental marriage threaten to reach a crescendo of ridiculousness, it’s all reined back in. Hints at Patti’s sinister, manipulative Mommie Dearest tendencies, and Linda’s own tentative brushes with love add poignancy to this fully formed, 3D character comedy. A class act.

St Johns, 226 0000, until 24 Aug (not 12), 8.45pm, free.

An Evening With Patti DuPont

  • 4 stars

Anna Emerson / La Favorita Freestival Join 84-year-old Hollywood legend Patti DuPont (149 films, nine husbands, five facelifts) for an intimate hour of chat, music and candid tales from 65 years in show business. Famed for her wit, indiscretion and tiny hands, the Oscar-worthy star of When Nuns Go Bad, Jelly at Midnight…