Entertainment :: Theatre

Beth Lapides: 100% Happy 88% of the Time

by Obed Medina
Contributor
Sunday Oct 17, 2010
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Beth Lapides
Beth Lapides  (Source: Sharon Hashimoto)

Is she a guru for the 2012 crowd? A New Age philosopher with healing crystals? Those questions aren’t that simple, because Beth Lapides isn’t that simple.

Aided by her PICs (Partners In Change) and the other acronyms she’s invented to get through life, the comedienne takes to the stage at the Improv Lab Theater with her new life-affirming one woman show, Beth Lapides: 100% Happy 88% of the Time, an immensely funny piece that remains intimate even as it spins uncontrollably through the universe. Complete with original songs by Lapides and Mitch Kaplan (on keyboard,) Howie B and Peter Matz, you couldn’t ask for a funnier evening out with your metaphysical self.

After the success of Un-Cabaret, which incited an alternative comedy revolution just about everywhere it was presented, this new show further demonstrates Lapides’ keen comedic talents.

She takes the stage in a silver dress, a metaphor for that ever-elusive silver lining that seems out of reach. Not for Lapides, though. She takes that lining and fashions it into a frock that serves as her costume for the night. So not a diva she greets her audience, not from the stage, but from the aisles making direct contact with us from the very start. She maintains that personal connection throughout the show, her silver dress flashing as she moves about the stage.

It’s an ingenious visual symbol keeping her message front and center as she works through the hour-long set. The message: we must take control of our lives, come what may. In a nutshell, she tells the audience that we need to admit that we are unhappy... at least 12% of the time. Once we admit that, we’re on our way to happiness (the other 88%).

Easier said than done, right? So, she proceeds to use her life as an example of the cosmos working its magic (and occasionally wreaking havoc on our lives) on a daily basis. The results are hilarious, yet even as we are laughing we’re reflecting on the inherent truths she reveals that lie within the comedy of our own lives.

What makes Lapides so funny? She’s accessible. Her comedy never pokes fun at any one person or group specifically, but instead invites her audience to laugh at ourselves as a group; it is an ability she has honed to perfection.

Balanced with just the right amount of storytelling, stand-up comedy, songs, and metaphysical advice for the ages, Lapides’ show may not have all the answers to life’s questions, but one hour with her assures at the very least you’ll leave the theater with a bounce in your step and one of her songs reverberating in your head.

Even with life’s uncertainty, that’s one guarantee that Lapides and company stand by.

Performances every Wednesday through November 10 at the Improv Lab Theater. For tickets and information, please call 323-717-4731 or visit ww

Obed Medina is a playwright & theatre director in Los Angeles.

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