Bricken Sparacino sure has been licked a lot in her life … but not exactly the way you’d expect from a show titled I’m Not Sure I Like The Way You Licked Me!. I mean, of course, there is the requisite anecdote about the guy who french kissed her in a way that was more akin to a barbecue pit chef mopping ribs with secret sauce, leaving her face covered in saliva and in need of a good rinsing … but this solo show (directed by Lori Kee) has a few more licks in it – the kind of licks that could also be called bummers, hard knocks, and just plain disappointments.
Using a backdrop of childhood (and beyond) photos Bricken (yes, yes – rhymes with Chicken … she gets that out of the way right up top) throws out highlights – or perhaps low-lights – of her life when she felt particularly licked. Sometimes the lick takes the form of a gaggle of Mean Girl roommates using an unfortunate collision with a can of paint (oops) as a springboard to dive into all of Sparacino’s sore spots. With a POW and a THWACK and a BOFF they reel off her shortcomings, ending with “no one likes you anyway … not even the people who say they do”. OOF.
Time and again Bricken puts herself out there – with a boy, with a friend, in an acting scene, with her husband-to-be … and time and again Bricken gets licked. Friends turn on her, parts she is perfect for go to the other actress, songs she can’t quite master don’t get transposed in order to accommodate her lower range, her live-in boyfriend of five years psyches her out before proposing to her (never fear – 14 wonderful years later they’re still happily married).
Yes, there’s a lot of pitfalls here, but it’s not the stories that are the revelation. For really, anyone’s life story can be told in a way that accentuates the licks. We’ve all been there, and we all can relate – to the bullying, the name calling, the need to be accepted, the need to feel loved … the confusion when we do something out of love that gets misconstrued and thrown back in our faces. So the stories themselves aren’t particularly new. Rather, it’s the over arching lesson that’s the cherry on the sundae here.
And Bricken’s lesson is simple, yet profound: We only go around once. We’ve only got one chance, and confidence goes a long way to make the ride a better one. So, have faith in yourself. Have faith in your abilities. Cherish those around you who support you and reflect your best self back to you.
Bricken’s delivery is straightforward and no-nonsense with often hilarious moments that will have you laughing out loud. It’s not all a laff-riot, however; she’s equally adept at plucking at your heartstrings and often just the simple look of sadness that veils her eyes at the appropriate moment is enough to quiet the room. When this woman says she is a Shakespearean actress moments like this prove she’s got the goods.
Just a 3 show run – one’s already gone. You’ve just got 2 chances to see Bricken get licked.
I’m Not Sure I Like the Way You Licked Me! A solo show written and performed by Bricken Sparacino Directed by Lori Kee UNDER St. Marks 94 St. Marks Place Tickets are $18/$15 students and seniors Advanced tickets can be purchased only online click here