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Arts and Entertainment

Self Proclaimed: Erica Watson in 'Fat Bitch' at Greenway Court Theatre

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Erica Watson in 'Fat Bitch.' Photo by Charlie T. Photo
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Erica Watson's funny and enlightening one-woman show, Fat Bitch, finishes out a short Los Angeles run at Greenway Court Theatre with one last show tonight at 5PM. Watson, most famous for her role in the film Precious, not only wrote and performs in this biopic show, but has taken on the directorial reigns as well. Fat Bitch uses humorous theatrical vignettes to target rarely discussed race and weight stereotypes that Black/African-American women face in the United States. All proceeds from the performance benefit the Columbia College Chicago Alumni Scholarship Fund.

The vignettes in Fat Bitch are moments curated from Watson's own life, delivered with a socio-cultural perspective. Watson is intelligent, articulate, empathic, and highly analytical. As she discusses the race, size, and gender stereotypes that impact her life, it quickly becomes clear that she doesn't fit the ditzy celebrity stereotype either. Her delivery of narrative paradigms that are scarcely acknowledged in the public arena are flawlessly delivered with gentle but outspoken candor. Watson's  performance style is reminiscent of stand-up comedy with as she wields well-chosen vernacular cusses and directly addresses the audience, but her style is inherently gracious and respectful of basic human dignity...an element not usually seen in stand-up. 

Watson co-directed Fat Bitch with Steve Pink (known for work on Grosse Pointe Blank, High Fidelity, and Entourage. The show is a promising testing-the-waters work in progress that is surely destined for a longer Los Angeles run in the future. In its current state, the show is minimalist, but does feature a gut-bursting finale that makes the nominal ticket price more than worth it.

Fat Bitch is playing through Sunday, May 1, 2011 at Greenway Court Theatre, located at 544 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Tickets are $15 and available online through Columbia College Chicago.