Fringe Festival: Canarsie Suite (SC)

Aimee German and Jenny Sargent are a breath of fresh Brooklyn air...

In a world where funny men earn marquee billing in Hollywood blockbusters while funny women are relegated to chick flicks or playing the “best friend,” Aimee German and Jenny Sargent are a breath of fresh Brooklyn air. While vaudeville sister act Gladys (German) and Birdie (Sargent) must be two of the wackiest characters I’ve ever seen on stage or film, their impeccable comic timing and relentless, Broadway-size energy ensure that even the most bizarre scenes (German, in a gorilla suit, dry humping Sargent, as a vivacious Parisian gorilla tamer) charm. 

German and Sargent are gifted physical performers who make everything you shouldn’t try at home––from pratfalls to knife-throwing––look easy. As they sing and dance their way through a staggering series of outlandish costume changes, it won’t surprise you to learn that that both trained with world-renowned French clown masters (think Gaullier and Lecoq). And while at times the LeRoy sisters’ intricate storyline flags a bit under the sheer madcap energy of each individual scene, we nonetheless develop genuine affection for the stubbornly winsome Gladys and the ennui-stricken, fatalistic Birdie.

In the end, it’s the sheer versatility and energy of this triple-threat duo that impresses. Producers, take note: these two could charm the hotpants off audiences anywhere, from a cabaret to a cruise ship, a Bat Mitzvah to Mad TV.

 ––Sarah Chandler

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