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Comedy and poignancy punctuate one woman show
from a Hollywood favorite

Carrie Fisher's "Wishful Drinking"
Bank of America Theatre
Chicago, IL
October 5, 2011
Carrie Fisher Carrie Fisher Carrie Fisher

Story by Andy Argyrakis
Photos courtesy of Broadway In Chicago

During Carrie Fisher's one woman show "Wishful Drinking" (based off the autobiography of the same name), she referred to herself as an all around product of Hollywood, and listening to her storied life unfold, it was certainly a fitting description. Born to celebrity parents Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher (who later ran off with her mom's best friend Elizabeth Taylor), the future actress' childhood was certainly lived under the media glare. However, it was her role as Princess Leia in the sci-fi treasure "Star Wars" that truly paved the way for her superstar life, which sparked everything from an action figure to a PEZ dispenser bearing her likeness.

Though it all sounds glamorous on paper, hearing her tell it was a little more sobering, if only for the lack of privacy and continual tabloid attention, only furthered by her marriage and eventual divorce from troubadour Paul Simon, followed by a second failed marriage to talent agent Bryan Lourd (who turned out to be gay). She has a sense of humor about it all now of course, but that doesn't mean the pain wasn't real at the time and sparked a revolving door through rehab.

Fisher isn't proud of her addictions, but she isn't shy about sharing antidotes from even her darkest days, like when she was "invited" to visit a mental institution or spent a session alongside Ozzy Osbourne trying to get clean. Though the show is riddled with name dropping, it's never in a boastful manner, but rather paints a more complete picture of her overall prominence. Don't forget, Fisher's also a novelist who wrote both the book and screenplay for "Postcards from the Edge," scored a memorable cameo in "The Blues Brothers" and even pops up as a "Family Guy" voice on occasion.

The most surprising revelation in the entertaining but still poignant performance was revealing a lifelong battle with bi-polar disorder, a real life ordeal that no amount of fame or fortune can suppress. In letting fans into such a vulnerable place, Fisher proved to be humble and relatable, which alongside so many humorous and sometimes outrageous antidotes, makes "Wishful Drinking" an engaging way to spend an evening.

Carrie Fisher's "Wishful Drinking" continues at the Bank of America Theatre through October 16. For additional details, visit

Carrie Fisher Carrie Fisher

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