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Reviews

COWABUNGA!

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She thinks. She thought. She thunk. And what writer-performer Sabrina Bernasconi "thunk-up" is up there onstage for God and all the world to see, or at least as many people can fit inside the theatre. Bernasconi takes us inside her mind. What can you say about this mind? Disturbed, disjointed, cerebral, manic, fearful, spiritual—accepting, funny, deranged—did I say manic? It's all that and more. Bernasconi's performance is more stream-of-consciousness than orchestrated action. So don't expect continuity. She insists on taking us off into little forays that amount to abrupt left and right turns, like her reoccurring bit about sampling bottled water, which she performs with all the pomp and circumstance of a great wine tasting. Dare we say satire? Her humor, wry and dry, is mostly self-deprecating and has a kind of Ellen DeGeneres–feel that is both charming and inviting.

This, too, is a woman who came to accept her lesbian nature at a very early age, when she discovered that she wanted to be Ken to her sister's Barbie. The theme underscores the entire show. Yet, as an adult, she has trouble "closing the deal," stumbling and fumbling for words and missing the moment, even when the girl is naked and in her bed.

Her self-sabotage and internal conversations with her male higher power, using voiceover provided by Mocean Melvin, are some the show's funniest moments. This show moves quickly and is ably guided by the well-timed direction of Josh Ryan and Minnie Goode.

"Cowabunga!," presented by and at ZJU Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri. 8:30 p.m. Jun. 17-Jul. 8. $10. (818) 202-4120.

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