Carrie Fisher Soars in Wishful Drinking

Bonnie Godas

There was no stone left unturned as Carrie Fisher unveiled her tumultuous life in a fantastic one-woman show called Wishful Drinking. Fisher, the author of Postcards From the Edge and longtime actress, has shown her audience that one can take pretty much anything, even a tragedy, and turn it into something hilarious. Though living a life of depression, alcoholism, and bipolar disorder, she has managed to put things into a humorous perspective and comes at her audience like a gangbuster.

The play begins with Carrie spraying sparkle over the first three rows of the theater with a water pistol. With this, you know that you are in for a crazy ride. You may not need a raincoat like Blue Man Group but you will get wet, mostly from your own tears of laughter.

After the “sparkle incident,” Carrie begins by telling us her discovery of finding a friend dead beside her in bed. She says that he was a gay, Republican, drug addict and asked the audience if they have any questions. “Were you naked?” someone asked. Making fun of her age (she will be 52 this month), Fisher says that she hasn’t been naked in fifteen years and hasn’t worn short sleeves in twenty!

Fisher is a product of Hollywood; she is the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. She tries to explain all the crazy relationships of her family: her father’s relationship with Elizabeth Taylor, how everybody is divorced and married a dozen times and all making up in the end one way or another, or eventually dropping dead. She does all of this by showing us a chart and using a magic wand as a marker. In her attempt to explain that Hollywood stories tend to repeat themselves, Fisher explains it this way: “For those of you who are younger-all three of you-and can’t relate to any of this, try to think of Eddie as Brad Pitt, Debbie as Jennifer Aniston and Elizabeth Taylor as Angelina Jolie.”

Fisher continues to take us back in time, always involving her audience. When she gets to the part of her life we all know for the famous Princess Leia, the story turns into complete madness! The lights go down and when she reappears, she is our Star Wars heroine, adorned with that “beautiful bunned wig,” which she later put on an easygoing guy in the audience. The whole chapter in her life as Princess Leia becomes totally hysterical when she shares stories of George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, who said to her that she couldn’t wear a bra because no one wears underwear in space or that her fame has been reduced to Princess Leia Soap and a Pez Dispenser.

After a short intermission, Fisher continues to talk about her marriage to Paul Simon. The pair divorced after two years and Fisher later married a man who turned out to be gay (she claims that she has the power to do that to men). From these crazy relationships, she says, came a beautiful sixteen-year-old daughter Billie, who is her biggest critic. But then again, what sixteen-year-old isn’t?

I have always been a fan of Carrie Fisher, but most of all, I admire her courage to laugh at things that are really quite tragic and showing the world that life isn’t so bad.

Directed by Tony Taccone and produced by Jonathan Reinis, Wishful Drinking is being showcased at the Huntington Theater in Boston through October 26th.