After a successful 2016 run with WP Theater, Lisa Lampanelli's play about four women and their radically different relationships with food and body image transfers Off-Broadway. More…
A lifelong yo-yo dieter, a bulimic, a confident overweight gal, and a permanent size zero who can’t gain weight walk into a play...and what happens next could only be dished up by comedy star Lisa Lampanelli in her first foray into theater. 'Stuffed' features the comedian's irreverent voice, signature wit, and an extra-large scoop of razor-sharp insight into the complicated world of our relationships with food. This show doesn't shy away from tough questions like: Is eating an ice cream sandwich in the shower as emotionally fulfilling as it sounds? When it comes to jeans, what's better: muffin top or camel toe? And, if Oprah, the most powerful person in the world, can't conquer her food issues, what can the rest of us do but laugh as we try?
"We are cracking up the whole time! Director Jackson Gay gives us smooth set changes, hilarious dance sequences and hysterical beats following some cathartic tears.... Lampanelli guides what is revealed on the stage with truly innovative writing that does not preach, does not over-sell the sentimentality and will leave you feeling like you came to a slumber party and left having made some really good friends." Full Review
“The stories she presents here go beyond a single narcissistic narrative and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of Western food, body image, and feminine shame culture...Lampanelli's writing is genuine and there is weight to it...We are cracking up the whole time!...Truly innovative writing that does not preach, does not over-sell the sentimentality, and will leave you feeling like you came to a slumber party and left having made some really good friends." Full Review
“This four-person comedy jam session about women and food still retains much of what made it funny and daring a year ago...’Stuffed’ is basically what it would look like if Jean-Paul Sartre produced a show on the Food Network...An evening that is more vaudeville than confession...’Stuffed’ deserves points for boldness. It takes what could be a weepy very-important-issue play and turns it into 85 minutes of unapologetic comedy." Full Review
“Lampanelli stuffs an awful lot into the 90-minute intermissionless play, allowing each character the opportunity to tell her story...The young ensemble rarely delivers the same gravitas or biting humor as their leading lady...’Stuffed’ will appeal to many women who can identify with the complex relationship between food and body image, as well as men who are willing to admit that we’re often judged by an easier standard than our female counterparts." Full Review
“Lampanelli’s humor is often um, tasteless...These vulgar jokes can feel as if they don’t belong in the same show as the serious monologues...Lampanelli’s fellow cast members are fine actresses but the playwright and star...simply doesn’t know how to employ them to best effect, and they wind up seeming peripheral and upstaged...Still, there is something in 'Stuffed' that will surely stay with me, a vivid summary of the love-hate relationship with food." Full Review
“The playwright tries too hard to be funny about a subject that ultimately is not funny, and which has been covered by comedians for decades…Jackson Gay’s direction is tangential at best and might have contributed to some of the questionable choices made in the staging…‘Stuffed’ provides some laughs but too often at the expense of the characters it wishes to lift up and champion. In short, 'Stuffed' is pleasant stand-up comedy; however, it is not theatre.” Full Review
for a previous production "It’s a breezy, candid, insightful look at four women exchanging their feelings about food and weight, in between isolated monologues giving back stories. Lampanelli’s lines particularly zing but there’s also pathos and feeling to make this a full meal, smoothly directed by Jackson Gay. And by the way, Lampanelli has real acting chops." Full Review
for a previous production "Amongst the chatter which involves them all, each character gets a moment in the spotlight where we get an idea of why they struggle with weight and self esteem...It's funny-there are a bunch of laugh-out-loud lines-without trivializing the deeper issues here. It's a brisk 80 minutes and director Jackson Gay keeps things well ordered while allowing for a playful quality which she does so well. Every woman will be able to relate to something or someone in the play." Full Review
for a previous production "Lampanelli may not be the next Shakespeare, but you can't accuse her of being unfunny: The one-liners are hysterical…One has to admire Lampanelli for writing a funny play about weight and eating disorders. Such radioactive issues are too often treated with unwavering seriousness in our confessional theater...Lampanelli gleefully flips off this fear and its resulting orthodoxy. It's an absolute delight to behold, helping us to overlook any technical shortcomings in the writing." Full Review
for a previous production "Although 'Stuffed' is always entertaining, it is more of a talk-fest than anything else...Since Lampanelli fails to contextualize the piece sufficiently, it leaves you wondering why these women are exchanging their life experiences with each other. Another problem with 'Stuffed' is that its most intense dramatic experience happens off-stage...Her debut play is far from flawless, but it's not a bad start for this unflappable comedienne." Full Review
for a previous production "Under Jackson Gay’s direction, several of the performances are nuanced and moving...The play itself feels more like stand-up comedy than a concrete narrative, expressing its themes overtly through jokes and direct conversation, with racy humor that mirrors Lampanelli’s usual comedic style...Though the characters are all common tropes seen often within the conversation about women and food, these monologues have instances of depth that help create more individualized personas." Full Review
for a previous production "There is little dramatic structure to 'Stuffed,' which is Lampanelli’s first play...No one conflict drives the evening, which runs for 80 minutes, as the four women each discuss their histories and their hopes...The subject of the play is endlessly relatable, as the women bond over their struggles...While the words 'male gaze' are never uttered onstage, the idea is omnipresent...The subject is a welcome one to be explored in a play, especially in an industry as male-driven as the theater." Full Review
for a previous production "Lampanelli has written three lovely roles for her costars, and, of course, she is totally at home with her own brand of scorched-earth commentary. Still, there's a disconnect between her own savagely funny material and her associates' stories, written in a much sadder, more realistic mode...'Stuffed' offers audiences something to chew on, but little in the way of conclusions. Anyway, the director, Jackson Gay, works to keep all four performers in synch, tonally speaking, with some success." Full Review
for a previous production "Having never seen comedian Lisa Lampanelli perform, at times I felt like I was missing the insider joke in her new play 'Stuffed'...Each girl is talented but it was Zainab Jah who made us watch her and follow the journey. Jackson Gay’s direction is part of the reason this show seems disconnected. She breaks the girls into lines and brings Lampanelli out of the moments to do her shtick, but it does her a disservice. 'Stuffed' is hilarious with soul and has a built-in audience." Full Review
for a previous production "More Lean Cuisine than a three-course meal...Each woman gets their own monologue, beautifully acted, that fleshes out her backstory and adds some needed depth to their characters....Gay keeps the show moving nicely...It’s when Lampanelli throws out barbs in her now-famous 'insult comic' style that you’ll probably laugh the loudest. Indeed, as much as I admire Lampanelli’s stretch marks (as a writer and performer), there were times I wished that she was simply doing a one-person show." Full Review
for a previous production "This is Lampanelli’s premiere as a playwright, and there are some signs of first-play syndrome. The characters speak mostly to or at the audience, rather than establishing meaningful dialogue among themselves. And, beyond their weight issues and troubled histories, they are not, pardon the pun, especially well rounded...But, to her credit, Lampanelli writes what she knows and has crafted an impressive structure throughout all of the monologues." Full Review
for a previous production "Lampanelli uses her own experiences but then fleshes out the rest of the time with color-by-the-number observations about women with other size issues...The bottom line is supposed to be that women should be allowed to love themselves no matter their shape. But that seems an odd message coming from a woman who's spent thousands of dollars to alter hers...The cast members only succeed at varying levels. Still, more than a few of the jokes Lampanelli has written hit the mark." Full Review
for a previous production "The strange thing about 'Stuffed,' the new ensemble piece by Lisa Lampanelli, is that she’s the only one in its cast of four who is portraying a real person...Lampanelli’s trying a kinder, gentler sisterhood approach. It’s an awkward attempt, and so, unfortunately, is the show as a whole. It’s more of a play manqué: a patchwork of stand-up comedy and monologues only loosely sewn together...Still, there are some laughs here, some genuine pain and even a bit of insight." Full Review
for a previous production "Under Jackson Gay's unobtrusive direction, the four performers make the most of their schematic characters. But even with a running time of little more than an hour, the piece becomes repetitive, its lack of dramatic structure making it feel ironically undernourished. There's certainly much here to relate to, as evidenced by the knowing laughs and loud murmurs of recognition emanating from the audience...That makes it more of a shame that 'Stuffed' doesn't have more meat on its bones." Full Review
for a previous production "Based on this first-time play, one can say that Lampanelli is better at stand-up than at being a playwright. She is on to a good topic with 'Stuffed,' but unlike the problem of overeating that the characters discuss, this production is low on calories...Even though the show has no intermission, is not especially long, is lightly directed by Gay and is occasionally funny, after a while a feeling of repetition sets in, and one can conclude that the subject has already been covered enough." Full Review
for a previous production "Though each woman gets her own meaty, melodramatic monologue, none transcends her stereotype, save for Lampanelli...The evening fares best when the so-called 'Queen of Mean' dumps the numbing naturalism, jumps off the couch, pulls out a microphone and starts doing her shtick...Every character gets at least one such solo, but they seem to come out of nowhere...Lampanelli offers no insight you couldn't glean at a Weight Watchers meeting...The show leaves you feeling bloated and unsatisfied." Full Review
See it if If you’re too fat to skinny trying to gain weight trying to lose weight not happy with your weight Or appearance and wouldn’t mind a laugh
Don't see it if If you’re not open to comical comments about issues with weight.
See it if you are a woman who has ever had issues with her weight (almost all!), or are a sympathetic male
Don't see it if if you are judgmental about women and their weight and looks, in which case you wouldn't want to see it anyway!
See it if You are a Lisa Lampanelli fan, or want to see a comedic discussion on life rather than a narrative
Don't see it if You're looking for more traditional narrative theatre, you get offended easily
See it if you've ever dieted or had any food issues. You'll identify w/the talented actors & laugh like crazy. But you'll also be moved by sad stories
Don't see it if You need a linear story line. You're not interested in personal sad stories. But, these characters all live and thrive on stage.
See it if you enjoy the humor of Lisa Lampanelli who is hilarious. Well staged and written. Good skits about weight gain and loss. Talented cast.
Don't see it if you don't like stories about weight gain or loss or the humor of Lisa Lampanelli.
See it if the stories of women interest within a casual 80 min of stand up, dialogue and some emotionally filled monologue.
Don't see it if your looking for a traditional narrative or casual unstructured theatre doesn’t appeal to you.
See it if it's re-worked AGAIN for its third reincarnation. The weakest parts of the show were each scene-break when Lisa did her stand-up shtick.
Don't see it if you don't like raunchy (but real) humor. I'm not a Lampanelli fan AT ALL, yet I enjoyed the writing. Good jokes, and solid serious moments.
See it if You like Lisa Lampanelli's raunchy comedy, or have struggled with body/weight issues. You're female, or don't mind show featuring all women.
Don't see it if You like sophisticated comedy, and not in a revue motif. You don't enjoy a show featuring an all-female cast and subject of food & weight.
See it if You enjoy stand-up comedy and aren't expecting a masterful production.
Don't see it if You prefer a more in-depth looks at themes of body politics, women's identities, and feminism.
See it if you want a show closer to a stand-up routine than a play. A series of related skits explore female weight issues with humor.
Don't see it if you don't like off-color language and/or you want a show with a well defined plot.
See it if you want in your face jokes. It is stand up between exaggerated monologues.
Don't see it if you don't like 'stupid' funny or if you want more substance-It feels like they almost got at something interesting but it didn't make it.
See it if You enjoy Lisa Lampanelli and her work. She is charming.
Don't see it if You enjoy quality playwriting. This "play" is lists of foods Lisa likes, moments of vulnerability from her past, and underwritten characters
See it if you like Lisa Lampanelli and appreciate her loud, crass humor.
Don't see it if you prefer a play with a plot and well developed characters and don't find a lot of humor in serious food issues like anorexia and bulimia.
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